Are you getting ready to go on vacation? Auto-Moto gives you the essential points to check before setting off.
That’s it, after long months of waiting, it’s time for you to take the key to the fields and go to vacation. And if, like one in two French people, you have chosen to take your car, a few hours of driving will probably await you before you can soak up the sun. But contrary to popular belief, leaving for such a long trip is not really trivial, and some checks are necessary, in order to get behind the wheel in complete safety. Auto-Moto summarizes the main points to check before the big departure, in order to avoid disappointments on the journey.
The different liquids
We don’t always think about it, and yet it is essential to take a look under the hood of your car for a quick check of the different fluids. oil level or even coolant, all of which require special attention, because an empty tank can have major consequences on the proper functioning of the vehicle or on your safety. If these checks are very easy to perform, a quick trip to the mechanic can help you if you are not sure of yourself.
You don’t have a lot of time ahead of you, and you are about to put aside checking your tires? Remember that these four pieces of gum are the only connection between you and the road. In other words, a fault can again have serious consequences, especially in the event of rain. Make sure that the pressure complies with the manufacturer’s recommendations and is suitable for the loading of your car. Do not hesitate to over inflate them slightly if it is very full. Also remember to look at the wear, and do not wait until you reach the warning light to change your tires if they are damaged.
Once you are sure you have enough brake fluid, it is now time to check the status of these. A quick glance through the rims will let you know if your pads are damaged or if they are nearly new. Anyway, if you hear a dull friction noise when braking, it means that the latter are totally worn and should be replaced quickly. To preserve them, remember to limit late and too strong braking, and try to be anticipatory, especially in traffic jams.
Lighting and signaling systems
Side lights, dipped headlights, full headlights, turn signals or even fog lights, all must be thoroughly inspected before setting off on vacation. It is still ideal to have two people, so that a second person can help you see if the brake and reverse lights are working properly. For the rest, you can fend for yourself, by sitting in front of a window for example. Also, remember to always have a box of bulbs with you. If this is not mandatory, this will allow you to deal with a possible breakdown, while driving with a faulty light is punishable by a fine of 135 €, reduced to 90 €, while immobilization of the vehicle can be requested.
Indispensable to see the road well in bad weather, windscreen wipers must obviously be in good condition to take the road safely. Too often neglected, this element must however be changed approximately every two years, while the plastic tends to be damaged, due to the high heat of summer and low temperatures in winter. Before leaving, make sure that the brushes are in good condition and flexible, so that they sweep the windshield well in the event of rain. In addition, in order to gain in efficiency, you can use an anti-rain treatment as well as an anti-mosquito product, which you will find in all car centers.
The air conditioning
You don’t always think about it, but checking the air conditioning is also a must before you go on vacation, especially if you are heading to a hot area. But to prevent any failure, it is still best to do a complete check-up every year at the garage, in order to change the refrigerant, which tends to evaporate naturally. Also remember to change the cabin filter, a maneuver that you can easily do alone. Finally, once on the road, avoid lowering the temperature too much, the difference between the inside and the outside should ideally not exceed 5 degrees.
Also read on Auto-Moto.com:
Three tips to reduce your fuel costs on the road to vacation
Three mistakes not to make before going on vacation
Three tips to protect your car during your seaside vacation