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Taking a road trip this summer?

Added: 20 June 2019

With the arrival of summer comes the seemingly inevitable prospect of driving a long way. Whether this is for a 2-week getaway, or to see family and friends for a long weekend, there's always the journey to tackle before you reach the destination. Below are some top tips for your safety and comfort, that we think go towards making that long drive more bearable. 

Note: these may seem blindingly obvious, but you would be surprised how many people break down due to neglecting the simplest, most common occurances.

Pre-flight checks | the big five

  • Oil - to avoid being the one on the hard shoulder with their hazards on, make sure you're happy with your engine's oil levels by checking they are between the minimum and maximum on the dipstick before you set off.
  • Coolant - coolant keeps your engine from overheating, so on a hot day in traffic it's essential your engine is kept from clunking out, for everyone's benefit.
  • Tyres - a common thing to neglect is the tyre's tread depth and, when the temperature's up, your tyres will take extra strain on the hot road surface. Stick a 20p coin into the tread and if you can't see the outer band of the coin, your tread is above the legal limit, and you will avoid a hefty fine!
  • Lights - you will want to stay visible to others at all times, even when the days are longer during the summer, so make sure your lights are in working order, and get a fellow roadtrip buddy to check the rear lights for you.
  • Air con - this one we think is as obvious as they come, but you will avoid being everyone's least favourite person if you know your vehicle's air con works before you set off on a long, hot drive.

Ones for the road | making 'are we there yet?' a thing of the past

  • Road snacks - from sugary sweets, to energy bars, chocolate, mints and gum, make sure you're fully stocked with ready-to-hand-out goodies for hungry travellers - and driver! You don't want your energy levels dropping (particualrly when they are likely to do so more quickly in hotter weather) so much that your driving begins to flag.
  • Music - nothing goes more hand-in-hand than a roadtrip and a good playlist. Have you discovered our Heritage Automotive Staff Summer Playlist on Spotify?
  • Games - a few rounds of Eye Spy might not last long in a moving vehicle, so naming categorised objects in alphabetical order - brands of car for example - is always a good fallback.
  • Audio books - listening to books may arguably be more popular nowadays than reading them, and besides, some people get carsick when they read on a car journey, so an audio book could be just what everyone needs to effortlessly pass the time.

Looking after number 1 | you're in charge of precious cargo

  • Sleep - get enough of it before you leave. Even if you plan to swap drivers halfway through, you need to make sure you are as alert as possible as soon as you get behind the wheel.
  • Patience - often, a long drive is a test of one's nerve, so just remember you're carrying up to four other passengers. As driver, you need to remain calm, and in control of the vehicle.
  • Fluids - make sure there's plenty of water on board the vehicle. You never know, you may need it for more than just quenching your thirst...!

Speak to us at any of our retail branches if you need to get your car serviced, or just want someone to give it the once over for your peace of mind.

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