According to a new study, almost three-quarters of drivers do not check the vehicle before a long journey.
With the Easter holidays approaching and many families set to go on spring break, a study has found that a worrying number of families risk breakdowns or accidents by failing to carry out the simplest maintenance checks .
The driver survey found that 71% did absolutely no safety or maintenance checks before setting off and only 24% checked basics such as tire pressure and washer levels.
The survey by vehicle repair service Bumper found that a third of drivers said they simply didn’t care and relied on their vehicle’s maintenance to find out if there was a problem. . More than a fifth (22%) said they didn’t know how to perform basic checks and 19% were distracted and simply forgot.
Simple measures like checking coolant and oil levels and adjusting tire pressure can mean the difference between reaching your destination safely and dealing with a dangerous breakdown or breakdown down the road. .
James Jackson, CEO of www.bumper.co.uk, said: “Failing to carry out vehicle checks before a long distance journey can be dangerous and costly in the long run, as it could lead to serious accidents and breakdowns. It’s quite surprising how many drivers overlook easy-to-perform checks, because it’s quite a risk to go on a long trip without knowing if your vehicle is healthy and prepared for such a trip.
“Performing all the checks we have listed will only take about 30 minutes and could save a lot of time and money.”
Some important but simple checks you can do before you go include:
Having the correct tire pressure is vital. If the pressure in a tire is too high, it could cause the tire to explode, which could lead to loss of control or an accident. Even before a flat, low tire pressure will also shorten a tire’s life and reduce a vehicle’s performance and fuel economy. Refer to your owner’s manual for the correct pressure and check that all tires match it. Also do a visual inspection of your tires for any damage or excessive tread wear.
If an engine runs out of oil, it can cause serious damage and, in extreme circumstances, cause the engine to stop completely. If this should happen while driving, there is a risk of a serious accident. In less extreme cases, it could still leave you with a massive repair bill. Check your oil levels using the dipstick in the engine. Make sure the engine is cold and wipe the dipstick with a rag or tissue before starting. Replace the dipstick in its tube then remove it and check that the oil is between the minimum and maximum marks. Some modern cars have an electronic sensor rather than a gauge – refer to your manual on how to use it.
Not supplying a vehicle with coolant causes the engine to overheat, which could lead to costly damage. To check your coolant level, simply find the compartment in the vehicle’s engine (there will be a diagram in your manual) and see if the coolant is below the minimum mark. Engine coolant can be purchased pre-mixed with water and antifreeze or concentrated, which means it must be diluted.
Headlights, brake lights and indicators
Before embarking on a long journey, it is essential to check that all the vehicle’s lights and indicators are working correctly. If drivers leave with a weak or completely broken light, it could not only increase the risk of an accident, but could also result in a costly fine from the police. Be sure to visually check that all lights and indicators are working and replace any bulbs that are weak or have completely burned out.
Many drivers won’t notice their windshield washer reservoir is empty until they need it. If this happens on the road it could be dangerous as it will be difficult to see out of the windshield if it is dirty. This can be easily checked by looking at the container in the engine, which has a minimum and maximum marker. Like coolant, you can purchase pre-mixed or undiluted windshield washer fluid from any auto accessory retailer and many large supermarkets.