Avoid Breakdowns on Family Road Trips!

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One of the worst things that can happen when driving – you know, aside from a crash – is a breakdown. This goes double if you’re going on a family road trip! It’s a nightmare scenario, but it’s not unavoidable, nor is it simply “bad luck”, the way that most people make it out to be. The vast majority of the time, some simple checks and tips will help avoid such car failure.

Check the tires

You should always check your tire pressure before you drive the car anywhere, let alone on a long journey. Most people don’t bother, but there’s little reason to not do this. We’re not talking about bothering with equipment; just giving the tires a good kick will do. If you don’t feel any give, then they are most likely fine. However, the pessimists will give them a quick check with a pressure gauge as well. Don’t forget to check the spare in the boot. If you have a flat tire, it’s easy to replace with a spare. You can find info on how to do that online. If the spare is useless, then you will have no choice but to contact an emergency towing service.


Maintain the brakes

This, a million times over. You need to check all the braking systems you have. If you have a car with a trailer attached, for example, then you need check both the primary brakes and the electric brake controller. A lot of people don’t think to keep the brakes carefully checked; after all, if there was an issue, you’d know about it already, right? The problem: that means you find out about the problem when you’re already driving. Not exactly the ideal time to find out. Get familiar with your brakes and make sure they’re working perfectly before embarking on a long trip with the kids.

Measure the oil

If there isn’t enough oil in your car, there should be a warning light on your dashboard. If there’s no light, then you are most likely fine. But it’s still a good idea to check the oil levels manually! You’ll need to look into oil changes at some point, too. In general, car oil needs to be topped up every fortnight. However, it will depend how much you drive your car. Check it every fortnight; don’t just automatically top it up. This can lead to other problems. While you’re there, you should also check the water level. That needs to be kept quite full too. You can check the oil level using the dipstick, and you’ll find that next to the oil tank in the engine.


Know the omens

Is your car making a funny noise or emitting an unpleasant, unfamiliar smell? If it is, you’re probably better taking it to a mechanic rather than continuing to drive it. Cars won’t usually break down without any warning sign; they will usually find a way to tell you that there’s a problem that needs fixing! The smell of burning in particularly should be seen as a red light, of course. This could be a severe problem with your exhausts or your engine that needs to be checked out immediately.

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