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The Summer Holidays are here again, here's some motoring tips to survive!

26th July 2019 | Mike Lamb

Every year school's break up for the Summer holidays and tens of thousands of families take to the nation's motorways looking to get away for a few days. With so many vehicles eating up the miles up and down the country, something, somewhere is going to go wrong. Below you will find a list of tips to help you avoid being one of those families sat on a grass verge with steam or smoke pouring from your engine bay.

If you were to fly on a plane for your holiday, you would expect the pilot and ground crew to have undertaken the relevant checks, why should it be any different if you're driving somewhere for your holiday? Here are some routine checks you should complete before loading up the car and setting off:

  • Your journey - Make sure you are fit and ready to travel by ensuring you are well rested and not under the influence of alcohol. Plan your route before leaving, identifying potential spots to take a break and also potential choke points for traffic.
  • Tyres - It is a legal requirement to have at least 1.6mm of tread on all of your tyres (Each defective tyre could cost you £2,500 and 3 penalty points if you are stopped by the Police) a quick and simple check can be done with a 20 pence coin - the band around the outside of the coin is approximately 1.6mm in thickness, so if that disappears into your tyre tread, you are good to go! Additionally, ensure your tyres are all at a good pressure before setting off (if you are unsure how full they should be, check your vehicle handbook).
  • Fuel - This might seem like an obvious one but in 2015 there were over 7,000 "breakdown incidents" due to vehicles running out of fuel, to spare yourself this embarrassment, try to keep at least 1/4 tank of fuel in your vehicle, this means that if you have to take a detour or get stuck in traffic, you know you have the fuel to continue your journey.
  • Fluid levels - Oil is essential to keep your vehicle moving. Without a reasonable amount of oil there is a good chance something could go wrong with your vehicle, oil lubricates, cleans, cools and protects the moving parts of your engine, without an adequate level you could damage your engine. Water level is also vital, to ensure you have good visibility keep your screen wash topped up so that you can clear your windscreen of dirt and debris.

Over the next 7 weeks an additional 700 breakdowns are expected per week -  According to the Highways Agency, 48,500 motorway breakdowns happened over last year's Summer holiday period with around a quarter of these breakdowns being caused by tyre punctures or issues. 

Follow the above tips and you should be fine! Have you got any additional tips to share?

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