Summer road trips in Ireland can mean torrential rain or humid heat, hot sun, dark clouds, and anything else that the weather gods decide to send us! But no matter what the weather, Irish road trip are fun times for making memories and having adventures. Driving down the highway is a perfect way to spend your staycation holidays. There are a few things you might need to attend to get your car road trip ready. Whether you drive electric or petrol and diesel, once you are assured that the car is in tip top condition and you are prepared for all eventualities, you can confidently set off on that expedition to remember and treasure forever.
At Sandyford Motor Center we can give your car a good pre trip check you just need to book online or over the phone. If you are feeling confident and want to do a pre check yourself, here is a helpful list for preparing the car for family fun times on the road.
Take a check of the water, the oil, and the coolant in your motor before you set off. Oil keeps your car running smoothly. To check whether there is enough oil in your car. Park on level ground and make sure the engine has been off for a few minutes to let it cool and settle. Locate and remove the dipstick, wipe clean with a cloth, and replace it fully. Then pull it out and check the oil level against the markings on the stick. Coolant is vital to keeping the car temperature regulated. You need it even more in the warmer seasons. This is true for electric and combustion engines. In older cars, you can see the coolant levels in the tank, and it should be between the minimum and maximum mark. Modern cars have a sealed cooling system, but the engine light may indicate a leak. If you are worried, seek professional advice before hitting the road. Top up your screen wash. You will be glad you took the time to do this when bugs and summer rain makes the windscreen a murky mess!
Check the rubbers on the wipers. If they squeak, smear or if you see any damage to them, its time to replace. They ca often be purchased at local garages and are relatively easy to fit.
The most important thing to check are your tyres. Here is where the rubber meets the road and your safety, and that of your passengers, depend on good tyres that are properly inflated and in good condition. While the legal limit for tyre depth is 1.6mm, it is recommended that you keep the tread above 3mm to be absolutely safe. Have your tyres checked if you are concerned about signs of wear or tear and uneven wearing. Of course, you will need a spare! Sometimes cars don’t come with spare tyres these days. Keep the breakdown assist number someplace handy and a can of tyre instant puncture repair. The garage will hate to see it used, but if stuck at night on a country road, you may have no other choice.
Run the air conditioning before you pack the family int the car. Air con systems in cars can become clogged. If in doubt, book an air con diagnostic check. A broken air con doesn’t just mean an uncomfortable drive. It can drain engine power, use extra fuel and lead to the engine overheating. It can also mean having all the windows open which not only creates drag on the car, it can be noisy, windy, and unpleasant for your passengers, especially wee ones in the back.
This is a quick one, but essential for peace of mind. Before you put the luggage in the car, get someone to stand outside and check that all your lights, headlights, dimmed lights, parking lights and indicators are working well.
If you have any nagging worries about your cars suspension and steering, brake pads or exhaust system, put your mind to rest with a visit to the mechanic before the road trip and don’t let these concerns spoil your expedition.
The summer road trip is a chance to enjoy driving and the freedom that it brings. To make life easier plan the bulk of your driving for weekdays rather than weekends, when the roads may be less congested. Pack your water, snacks, maps (there may be no Wi-Fi off the beaten track!) and blast your favourite sounds. Drive safe and have fun.