Car-Care-101 How we get our car ready for a road trip!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

As you may already know, we spend a lot of time driving around the UK looking for places to visit and explore - either as a couple or with the children. Usually, Mike is the designated driver and that's 'his' side of things. That all changed this week as my provisional driving licence arrived, meaning that I'm going to be making the big step and learning to drive. Scary!

So on Friday morning, Mike took me out to our car and I learned the basics of Car-Care-101. Lets pop the hood and have a good look underneath!

Checking all fluid levels:
Make sure you check on the fluid levels in your car - from water to brake fluid, this stops any unnecessary breakdowns and stress when you're out in the middle of nowhere. The fluids you should be making sure you have topped up are water, windscreen wash, brake fluid and oil (which I'll go into detail with next!).

Checking the oil:
This can be done by taking out the dipstick, wiping it clean, popping it back in and then again pulling it out so you can get a fresh reading of the oil level in the car. If you think that you're close to needing to change the oil then do it - and replace the oil filter along with it. Something that you need to remember is that you need to change the oil completely - you can't just top up your vehicle with fresh oil because the waste from the oil previously in there will still be there. Oil is not screen wash!

Checking the lights and replacing bulbs:
We always have spare bulbs in the car as Mike hates it if one goes out and he can't replace it straight away. But try to get into the habit of having spare bulbs as obviously, its better to be prepared for the inevitable. Checking for faults with lights is obviously easier with two people so you can have one person testing lights and one person watching for any faults, especially when it comes to brake lights and indicator bulbs. This is also a good time to make sure your lights are aligned to your liking, especially if you are heading out on an overnight drive. Mike does this by using the fence in the car park near our home, at night. You can see where your headlights are aligned according to the lights visible on the fence in front of you.

Checking your tyres:
Checking the air pressure in your tyres is important and can be done at your local garage - you can find your cars ideal tyre pressures in the manual which came with the car. Don't forget to check the air pressure on your spare tyre too - it saves a lot of trouble if you keep the spare well maintained. The tyres themselves should also have a healthy amount of tread - too much wear and tear and you'll have to make the decision to buy new tyres. Centres up and down the UK such as Point S Colne Tyre Centre in Lancashire can make this much easier by ensuring you buy good quality, drive-safe tyres - unsatisfactory, unsafe tyres can lead to accidents so please make sure you take your tyre safety seriously.

So we are good to go - are you? What are your essential Car-Care-101 tips and tricks?

More importantly - what are your driving lesson experiences? I'm so nervous!


  1. Hi Tilly. A very practical post. I'm not good at checking my own car. I need to be better at it.

    1. Well you can rest assured you can't be as bad as me - its a learning curve I have to embrace if I plan on driving though!


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