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WHETHER IT is a family holiday in the UK or just a quick day out, the high temperatures and busy holiday routes of summer put extra demands on both you and your vehicle.
With a little planning and preparation though you should be able to reduce the risk of breakdowns or getting stuck in traffic, which will keep stress levels to a minimum.
PLAN YOUR JOURNEY
Like most people, I use Sat Navs to plan my journeys but from time to time these modern gadgets can either leave you going the wrong way or the long way round. Our advice is to back yourself up with directions from a route planner, which is available on the internet.
PRE JOURNEY VEHICLE INSPECTION
Simple checks can save you time and money so a breakdown does not spoil what was to be either a nice day out or the start of your holiday.
Here are a few simple checks you can carry out on your journey before you leave:
- Tyre pressure, including your spare or puncture repair system (set these to your manufacture recommendations for the weight you will carrying).
- Fluid levels i.e. engine oil, engine coolant, screen wash. Carry top up engine oil and screen wash.
- Fuel Level – we have all been there when we think we have enough fuel then we get stuck in traffic and start worrying if we have enough fuel for the rest of our journey.
KEEPING YOUR PASSENGERS HAPPY (KIDS)
- Make sure you take plenty of fluids, enough food for long journeys
- Keep the children entertained. Ipads, books, magazines and games are great or go the old-fashioned way and play a family game, such as eye spy.
SUMMER FUEL SAVING
- If you have to carry luggage on the roof, use a roof box to reduce drag. Alternatively load luggage on a roof rack as low as possible and wrap tightly in plastic sheeting.
- If you are staying in one place for your holiday, take the roof rack or box off when you get there – you’ll save fuel on day trips.
- Open windows cause extra drag. Try air vents first particularly on a motorway.
- Once air conditioning has cooled the inside of the car, you may be able to turn it down or off. Don’t start the air conditioning if doors or windows are open.
- Use a windscreen shade and open up the car as soon as you get back to it to help cool the inside. Opening windows while you drive out of a car park will lower the inside temperature before you start the air conditioning.