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Bank Holiday Driving Tips

PTA Garage Services recommends checking engine fluid levels before setting off

With another long weekend approaching, and the weather offering us more in the way of warmth, now is as good a time as ever to get a short trip planned and make the most of the British countryside.

If you are planning a road trip this bank holiday, make sure you enjoy the journey as well as the time away from home. In order to make the most of your trip and avoid any motoring disasters, take a look at our top tips below for preparing your car, guaranteeing you the best start to the weekend...

Before your car even leaves the drive, make sure you complete the following checks:

Are all wiper blades in good condition? Check for wear or splitting. Wiper blades should be replaced at least once a year to ensure maximum performance. Also make sure you check the windscreen washer fluid level and that the washer jets are positioned correctly. The last thing you need is a grimy windscreen impairing your vision as you’re whizzing down the motorway.

Fluid levels! You should make sure that all your cars fluid levels are at the correct level. Check the oil and coolant levels, topping up where necessary. Follow the instructions in your owner’s handbook if you are unsure about the correct levels for your car.

It’s also a good idea to have the cooling system checked.  A puddle of clear water underneath your car when stopped is normal for vehicles with air conditioning, but a leaking cooling system or inoperative cooling fan could cause the vehicle to overheat and cause extensive damage to the engine.

How safe are your tyres? There are a number of tyre safety checks you should perform before leaving on a long journey. Firstly check the condition of your tyres for any cuts lumps or bulges - not forgetting the spare. Then check that tyre pressuresare correct and that the tread depth is legal. The current minimum legal tread depth for cars is 1.6mm. You can find the correct tyre pressure for your car in the owner’s handbook. Remember this will change depending on the load so if you’ve got a car full of everything but the kitchen sink, you’ll definitely have to change the pressures.

Is your service history up to date? It’s advised that you have your car serviced regularly.  Although this sounds obvious, many people don’t and it really does help to prevent future car problems.  Especially before long journeys, or journeys where you’re likely to get stuck in traffic. Find out more about car servicing from PTA Garage Services.

If you need any help in preparing your vehicle for a long journey, visit your local PTA Garage Services Branch. Find out what services we offer at your local centre here.