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Tangelo Auto Centre

Important Car Checks To Make Before A Long Journey

27 Mar 2024

Whether you’re visiting friends and family, going on holiday, or travelling for work, at some point we all need to prepare for long car journeys, and we’re here to remind you that these journeys can be very enjoyable indeed, especially when you prepare your car correctly!

Our important pre-journey checks ensure that your trip is safer, your car is less likely to suffer from mechanical issues and breakdowns, and your journey is generally much smoother.

Tyre Pressures

Having the correct tyre pressure is essential to ensuring your vehicle’s safety and performance. It impacts how your car brakes, grips the road and the way it steers. It also impacts your vehicle’s fuel consumption. If your vehicle is loaded, which is highly likely on a road trip, it is even more important to consider tyre pressures. You can usually find the correct pressures for your vehicle on your fuel cap or your driver door.

Windscreen Wipers and Screen Wash

A dirty windscreen can be a pain when driving in the summer. The sun reflecting on the windows can make it difficult to see, therefore dangerous to drive. Even worse is finding out you have no screen wash left when you go to clear it! It’s always best to ensure this is topped up sufficiently so you can keep your screen clear throughout your journey. Also, check your wipers for wear and tear and replace them should you need to. Chips and cracks in a windscreen should always be looked at as soon as possible. Although it may look small, one bump in the road can turn it into something much bigger if left.

Oil Level

Oil is very important for a smooth-running engine. Running out of oil on a long journey is costly in both time and money – the last thing you need when you are trying to get out and about! Depending on the age of your vehicle, you can check the oil level by using your car’s computer to monitor levels on the dashboard or use a dipstick to check that it hasn’t gone below the minimum level.


Before a long journey is a good time to check your headlights, indicators and brake lights. They are essential for safe travel not just to help you see clearly but for other road users to see you too! This is an easy check when you have a helper to give you a thumbs up or down on whether a light you’re testing is doing its job.

Fuel Level

Maybe an obvious check but topping up your fuel at the beginning of a journey could save time and stress later on. Knowing you have a full tank will make your journey much more enjoyable and allow you to plan if you need to fill up along the way. Similarly, if you have an electric or plug-in hybrid, make sure your vehicle is fully charged before setting off and plan where you can recharge if you need to.

Emergency Car Kit

Be sure to pack anything you might find useful in an emergency. A red warning triangle is highly recommended but also things for yourself should you be waiting around. Snacks and some spare clothes are also good to keep you going in case there is a long wait.

Book Your Service

Ultimately, the best way to ensure your vehicle is ready for a long journey is to have it regularly serviced. Having a professional do these essential checks means you’ve done everything you can to keep it running smoothly for your summer staycation.

Contact Tangelo Auto Centre in Exeter to book your Service and MOT.

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