Preparing Your Car For Your Summer Staycation

Preparing Your Car For Your Summer Staycation

As we head into Summer, it’s holiday time for many Brits, us included. With the staycation becoming increasingly popular, it’s important to prepare well for one especially if you plan to drive. Last week we covered the length and breadth of Yorkshire as we took three staycations back to back. Unfortunately for us the weather wasn’t particularly great. In fact, April showers followed us everywhere we went – boo! We are keeping our fingers cross that the summer months are going to reward us with glorious weather as we have long road trips and staycations planned in both Edinburgh and Cardiff. However, driving during the warm summer months presents its own challenges, which can sometimes cause trouble when taking road trips. Here, car dealers, Lookers plc offer some summer travelling advice to keep in mind before hitting the road.

Essential vehicle checks

Whilst winter tyres are essential for surviving the colder months safely on the roads, when the warmer weather hits, drivers should consider switching their tyres to all-season tyres to avoid rapid wear and make them last for another winter. Monitoring the vehicle’s tyre pressure is also important, since low inflation can reduce fuel economy and contribute to blow out related accidents. Tyre pressure instructions can usually be found on one of the vehicles front doors or in the owner’s manual and should be checked on a regular basis. Most modern cars, ours included, let you know when your tyre pressure has dropped either by beeping at you, or displaying the problem on the display screen, if it has one. 

Engine oil can thin out in warmer weather – meaning the engine could lack lubrication. To avoid any problems the oil should be checked and if necessary changed before setting off on a long hot journey. It’s important that you put the correct oil in your car too. I recently had to top mine up, so I googled the make and model of my car to ensure that I topped up with the right one. Other items that should be checked include brake fluid levels and windscreen washer fluid.

Along with the fluids and tyres, the rest of the vehicle should also be checked over. Take the car to an experienced mechanic, who can inspect the belts and hoses, before the trip, even if your service/MOT is up to date. The windscreen wiper blades should also be checked, since they may have become worn over the winter. On hot days, some car batteries fail, especially if they are older, so it may be wise to replace it before going on holiday. if necessary.

Pack the essentials

Especially if you are planning a long journey, an emergency travel kit should be located in the boot at all times. The kit should include a torch, jump leads and other basic tools. Also, as an Emergency Planner by profession, I personally advise packing non-perishable food and water, should you break down or get stuck in a traffic jam. It is also sensible to include a cool box with light snacks and  other drinks for the trip. Cool boxes can always be replenished with additional items along the way as you stop at attractions or even service stations. Electric cool boxes are a great option but only if your car has a cigarette lighter as they keep your stuff constantly cold 

Whilst there are essentials that need to be packed, try not to overload your vehicle, as it can cause issues with tyre pressure, fuel economy and safety. If items are piled too high inside the car, they can block the driver’s vision, so it is important to pack only the necessary items and do so as efficiently as possible.

Don’t over-drive

Tired driving is a definite no-no, especially on long journeys. Driving while fatigued is a major cause of accidents on motorways. To avoid fatigue, drivers should use caution and be prepared to stop and take short naps. Again, some modern cars have rest warnings that let you know it’s time to pull over. Even though it is tempting to ignore them, please don’t it could save you from having an accident. 

Towing tips

During the summer months, the likelihood is that you will see many vehicles on the road towing boats, caravans or trailers. If you are one of those drivers, you’ll have to amend your driving style and be aware that you should drive more slowly than you would under normal circumstances. Sudden lane changes, sharp braking and rapid deceleration that may put pressure on the engine, should also be avoided.

We hope these tips have helped you if you are planning on taking a staycation this summer. And if you are ENJOY!

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