Your essential car driving holiday and road trip checklist

Your essential car driving holiday and road trip checklist

09 May

By Gwyn Fennell

It could be because of the ongoing Brexit uncertainty, or perhaps a depressed economy, or even the simple love of our green and pleasant land. Whatever the reason, more and more of us are chosing to enjoy a staycation at home in the UK. Some of this internal travel will involve planes or trains, but most will be based on automobiles. The car’s the star!

Like any star, your vehicle needs to be treated right. That means a pre-holiday checklist and pre-journey preperation is important. With this in mind, the tyre professionals at Protyre have put together this short but essential holiday season checklist for your car. It should help to make your journey go smoother and (fingers crossed) incident free – though of course we can’t legislate for any traffic or roadworks!
 

Are all of your levels in tip top condition?

Make sure your oil, coolant, water, screenwash and air levels are topped up. You should ensure you have enough of each, and also check the systems they serve for any blockages or leaks etc. Your battery’s power level needs consideration, too. The air levels are in reference to…

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Making sure your tyre pressures are right

Whatever your pressures when you set off on your travels, they’ll make a huge difference to your journey in so many ways. Tyre wear, ride quality, fuel consumption and driver safety will all be impacted, depending on whether your pressures are correct or not. These are all central to any self-drive holiday or road trip. You’ll find your correct tyre pressures on either the inside of the fuel cap, or the inside of the driver-side door. Don’t forget to factor in whether your vehicle is laden or not, as any extra weight will make a difference to the settings of your pressures.

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Make sure you have good tread depth on your tyres

It’s your tyre tread that gives you the essential grip you need to drive safely on the road. This is particularly the case when the road surface is wet. While we all hope for clear blue sky and dry, sunny weather when we’re on holiday, we all know from experience that the British summertime is prone to occasional downpours. Tyre experts, like Continental and Protyre, are both members of TyreSafe, the leading UK tyre safety charity, and we recommend that your tyres have at least 3 mm of tread depth.


Check your tyres for any sign of damage

The last thing you want on a driving holiday, road trip, or even a short journey to the airport or train station is for your tyres to give up on you. A puncture or sidewall blowout could bring your journey to a sudden end, potentially endangering your safety. Don’t chance it. Make sure you inspect for tyre damage before you set off on your journey, including for cuts, nicks, tears, cracks and bulges, as well as for objects that may be lodged in your tyres – such as nails, glass, stones, or other debris.
 

It makes sense to fit self-sealing or runflat tyres

Another way to avoid stopping on your journey because of a puncture is to fit tyres that include Contiseal™ technology. These automatically self-seal any holes up to 5 mm in diameter from inside the tyre, allowing you to continue on with your journey without having to come to an immediate stop. This provides you the opportunity get to a local garage, or park up in a safer, less intimidating roadside environment.

Alternatively, you should consider driving on Continental SSRs – their Self Supporting Runflat tyres. In the event you have a puncture, these extra strong tyres will allow you to continue driving for up to 50 miles, before you need to stop and replace them. And, like Contiseal™ tyres, this means you can safely continue with your journey, without the need to come to an immediate stop.
 

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And don’t forget, if you’re going to change your own tyre, make sure your car jack and locking wheel nut key are in your vehicle – and easily accessible. You don’t want to leave them underneath all of your luggage or holiday equipment, do you?

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Author

Gwyn Fennell
Gwyn has been in the motor industry for over 35 years with experience in vehicle design, electrics, engine management, geometry and of course tyres. Continental has been Gwyn’s home for the past 15 years, where he has become a qualified trainer and examiner to both IMI and NTDA standards and now working towards the IQA qualification. Gwyn’s job has evolved and expanded in recent times and a more accurate but less pleasing to read title would be Technical Customer Service & ContiAcademy Training Centre Manager. It’s no surprise that Gwyn has excellent knowledge from the tyres up so when any technical questions come his way you know he’ll be providing the best advice possible.
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