Are you ready? Get set for your road trip and go!

 In Star Automotive News

Are you driving somewhere nice this bank holiday weekend? If so, we would recommend that you spend a little extra time checking your car is road trip ready so that your weekend isn’t ruined by avoidable dramas.

From getting lost in the middle of nowhere to breaking down at the roadside, here are our top tips to consider before setting off.

Give your car some extra care  

Keeping your car regularly serviced and ensuring that you have plenty of time left on your MOT will all help to avoid a last-minute panic. However, regular simple maintenance at home is important too, so be sure to:

  • Check your oil level
  • Check your coolant level
  • Check your screen wash level and wiper blade function
  • Top these levels up if required
  • Check the bulbs are working on your headlights, brake lights, sidelights, indicators, number plates and interior lights
  • Inspect your tyre tread and pressures
  • Ensure your number plate is free of dirt and mud so it is legible and therefore legal

Take a look at our recent article here which goes into more detail on how to avoid costly repairs for the future. If you have any concerns about the health of your car or for peace of mind, it’s well worth giving us a call so that one of our experienced technicians can check over your car before travelling.

Did you know that one of the most common reasons for a breakdown is due to a flat battery? Have a think about whether yours has been replaced recently, especially if you only drive very short journeys. It can take anywhere from 7 miles upwards for a battery to even start to replace the charge that has been taken out of it from starting your vehicle.

Another thing to check before you travel is your air conditioning, especially if our British weather means that you haven’t used it for a while. Avoid those ‘hot car headaches’ by ensuring your system is working efficiently so that your passengers stay cool and comfortable.

Top tip! Turn your air con on every so often throughout the year, even during the winter and colder months. This will help keep the system clean, smelling fresh and working efficiently.

Stay on track!

Is your sat-nav up to date? Most newer systems update automatically but it’s still worth checking beforehand. Also, some in-car systems require you to pay to get the most up to date mapping technology. Stay ahead of the game by knowing where roadworks will be taking place on your journey and by listening to the latest traffic news. Don’t get caught out in a traffic jam you could have avoided.

It may also be worth researching your breakdown cover for your trip so that if the worst does happen you won’t be stranded on the roadside. Your car insurance policy may have included some breakdown cover via Green Flag or similar so be careful not to double up. Don’t forget to check the terms and conditions of any cover before setting off so that you know what is and isn’t included! Using a comparison site, such as Money Supermarket is a great way to get the best deal on your breakdown cover.

If your road trip is taking you abroad, make sure you’ve spoken to your insurance company in advance. Otherwise, if you are involved in an accident you may find out that you are not covered. Take your insurance details and driving license with you too but hopefully they won’t be needed!

Be on the right side of the law

Whether you are travelling somewhere within the UK or going further afield, you need to ensure you stay on the right side of the law to avoid getting yourself a fine, or worse, points on your license. Did you know;

  • You can receive up to 3 points and a £2500 fine if you drive with tyres that are under the minimum legal limit, which is 1.6mm.  
  • If you are travelling abroad and you don’t display the GB sticker or Euro logo on your number plate, you can receive an ‘on-the-spot’ fine.
  • You could receive a £60 fine and three points on your license if your brake lights aren’t working.

Read more on driving laws you may not know about here.

Star Automotive have been great with my car. They explained every step of the work they had to do and the communication was first class.” – Philippe, customer of Star Automotive

Let the professionals take care of you…

Save yourself the time of doing ‘at home’ car maintenance and bring it in for a quick pre-road trip check. We’ll let you know of any issues and will only carry out necessary work if you’re happy with the quote. Give the team a call on 01202 697933 or contact us via email here.

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