Are you one of those people who think it could never happen to me when it comes to breaking down and being stranded in the middle of nowhere during your self-drive holiday?
Maybe you are lucky enough for it not to have happened to you, however you can definitely increase your odds against it happening by taking a few precautions and carrying out a little car care.
Car care isn’t just about taking your car to the garage for its regular service or for fixing up the little dents, bumps, and scratches with ultra-modern technology such as paintless dent removal. ItÂ’s about taking care whilst travelling.
For instance, did you realise that the higher you load your roof rack, the more fuel you will use? Car care involves taking this into consideration by packing the luggage on your roof rack as low as possible. Wrapping this same luggage in plastic sheets – which reduces the fuel consumption even more – is a perfect example of car care.
Another aspect of car care is checking the pressure needed for your tyres under heavy loads, which you can find listed in your car handbook. Bear in mind, however, that the figure printed will be for cold tyres. In warmer weather, you will need to adjust it according, in order not to end up with a reading that is misleadingly high.
Also when travelling in hot weather in your car care should be taken to ensure the tyres are in good condition as warmer weather just makes any existing damage worse.
Among other things, car care encompasses checking the handbrake. If it requires a lot of effort to pull it up enough to stop your car rolling backwards on a hill, then you might need to get an authorised person to check the cable or rear callipers.
Cooling reservoirs that haven’t been checked can also be included in car care, as if your cooling fan doesnÂ’t work, you wonÂ’t be going very far at all! You can check to see if thereÂ’s anything wrong by letting your car run idle for 5-10 minutes (once it has reached normal temperature), after which time the cooling fan should kick in.
Not only referring to physical aspects, car care also extends to things like sneezing. Did you know that you lose up to 100 metres vision when you sneeze, whilst travelling at 112 km per hour?
Car care to reduce the elements that might make you sneeze involves vacuuming floor mats and coverings regularly, especially during the summer. Since pollen grains filter in through the vents and windows, keeping them closed as much as possible will help reduce their presence inside your car.
Sunglasses also form a part of car care. Because the windscreen acts as an additional filter, photo chromic lenses (the type that dim automatically in bright sunlight) change more gradually inside a car, making driving through tunnels dangerous.
Ultimately, car care isn’t something you should do just because you are going on holidays or taking a long trip. ItÂ’s something you should do on a regular basis.
By carrying out just a little car care you can ensure that your driving experience always remains the pleasure it ought to be.