Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Top Ten Summer Tips - Have a great break not a great break down

Top Ten Summer Tips

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Have a great break not a great break down 
As families are hitting the road for a summer get-away the Institute of the Motor Industry is keen for everyone to have a safe break. With this in mind here are our top motoring tips for a successful summer break.
  1. First item on our checklist is tyre pressures. Always check tyre condition (including tread depths to make sure that they are legal and will last the long journey) and pressures before a long trip and adjust for loads being carried - this helps to keep fuel economy at its best.
  2. It's important to check your coolant levels, this needs to be done when the engine is cold.
  3. Its also important to check your engine oil levels, if the red oil light is showing on your dash board then DON'T run the engine which means don't drive the car.
  4. When booking your car in for a service think about how it has been running so you can give the staff an accurate assessment.  Make sure no extra work is carried out without your permission and ensure you know the costs involved. Finally, get an itemised bill and an explanation regarding the work carried out. This would also be a good time to make sure you have a current MOT.
  5. Being able to see is useful especially when driving so ensure your screen wash is topped up, your wipers are clearing the screen properly and your lights are all working. Being in an unfamiliar place with limited vision can lead to an unnecessary accident.
  6. In hot weather the one thing you will need is Air Conditioning and it is worth having it serviced and checked for operation.
  7. Chances are if you are heading off with the family you are going to be towing a caravan. If that is the case then you need to check over the caravan's tyres and brakes, especially if it has been standing for a long period.
  8. Its always good to be prepared so make sure safety items are stored in the vehicle - your warning triangle, spare bulb kit and first aid items.
  9. Always make sure the spare tyre or inflation device is in good condition and usable should you need it.  Make sure you know where the locking wheel is stored as it won't be much use if you are stranded at the side of the road and it's stored at home. If you are unfamiliar with changing a wheel with a laden vehicle (full up with holiday luggage) then perhaps see this is covered by your breakdown insurance.
  10. If your car is in need of a service then ideally you should go to a garage that employs members of the IMI or ATA technicians. This means they have signed an ethical code of conduct and have passed rigorous checks and have proved their technical competence to work on your vehicle.
So there you have it - your top ten summer tips on behalf of the IMI. Enjoy your trip.

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