With 89 millon drivers on the road in Spain this summer, here are some tips to make your Spanish Road trip incident free.
Planning a Road Trip in Europe
Don’t let a breakdown spoil your time on the road. It’s important that you take the right steps towards preparing your vehicle for any unwanted problems that may occur. If you’re unsure where to begin, read on to find our pre-trip checklist to make sure your car is road trip ready.
Cars have many different components on them that need maintenance to stay in good working order so, to stop you having a breakdown in Europe, make sure you check all of these before hitting the road and be sure to read this RAC guide on travelling around Europe before setting off.
Check your tyres
If you look on the inside of your car door jam, you will see the recommended tyre inflation pressure. This will help you when checking tyres for any damage and the correct air pressure. You can also check tyre pressure using an air pressure gauge at a service station.
Make sure you have the right amount of air inside each tyre for safety and to potentially achieve better fuel mileage on your road trip.
Fluids are an absolute necessity for your car to keep it in good working order, which is critical when you’re embarking on a long journey. These are the essential fluids you need to be checking:
- Oil is critical for an engine as it helps move the components such as pistons, crankshaft, camshafts and positions smoothly. You need to be changing your oil
every three months or around every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Use the dipstick to check your oil condition and level. If the end is black or below minimum get it checked and
filled up straight away.
- Brake fluid is compressed inside the brake pedal when you push down on it. It forces the brake pads to clamp down on the rotors to slow down your car. If your pedals feel sponge-like, it could be that your fluid has become contaminated, so be sure to get it looked at.
- Radiator fluid: As your radiator gives off a lot of heat, the radiator will keep it cool. Also known as coolant or antifreeze, it takes heat from your engine and gets rid of it
through the radiator.
- Transmission fluid: This helps your gears move smoothly and nothing ruins a drive more than a transmission that jerks when shifting. The good thing about transmission
fluids is that it lasts a long time but it’s well worth getting checked out if you’re planning a long road trip
Wash your car
Make sure your car is nice and clean for improved visibility through all your windows and mirrors, and so that your number plate can be seen. When cleaning your car, spare five minutes to check your windscreen wash as well as the front and back windscreen wipers so that you can replace them if needed.
Be sure there are no cracks in your windscreen too as these can spread, causing damage and limiting visibility.
Brake pads wear away with lots of use and this is often quite noticeable when using them as they make a screeching or squealing noise. Getting them replaced will stop the noise and make your trip a lot safer.
Chances are you’ll be driving in the dark at some point on your road trip so make yourself seen by making sure all your light bulbs are working. Also, having broken lights puts you at risk of being pulled over.
The best way to check is to turn on your car and test all your lights with someone walking around the vehicle checking for you. It’ may seem the car maintenance is hard work, but it is worth it in the long run so your trip isn’t ruined by a problem that could have been prevented.