Although it might feel as though we are still in the icy grip of winter, given that the UK was in snow chaos only a fortnight ago – the Easter break is upon us!
For many it is the chance to get out and about in our cherished vehicles either for a classic car driving holiday or indeed to deliver Easter Eggs to family members around the country. If you are taking to the roads this Easter Bank Holiday then this simple 5-point checklist will help you enjoy your holiday journey time.
- Check your Oil
At the very least, check your dipstick to ensure the oil is at the correct level in the engine’s sump. Your dipstick will have two markers, one for maximum and one for minimum – the trick is to not let it drop below that minimum mark! Allowing this to happen will cause damage to the engine’s internals and could see you stranded with costly repairs.
Check the quality of your oil as well, Duckhams Q should be a nice green colour – if it is thick and jet black it may be time for a change. If the oil has been in the car during winter hibernation, or indeed it has had long periods of inactivity since last summer, then change it. The oil risks being contaminated by acids, condensation and other by-products of combustion and may not be protecting your engine properly.
- Check your tyres
Tyres are one of the single most important components on a car. They are your sole contact point with the road, have a massive effect on your braking capabilities and if not inflated or aligned properly can cause issues with handling and premature or uneven wear.
Over 25% of roadside emergencies attended by breakdown services during last year were put down to tyre related issues, so avoid the danger and inconvenience with some simple checks.
Check pressures, as per the recommended settings stated in your owner’s handbook. Then check their condition, run your hands carefully around the tread to check for bulges, unevenness or foreign objects. Carry out a visual inspection to look for cracks, cuts or lumps. Then measure the tread depth with a handy gauge. In order to be road legal you must have a tread depth of over 1.6mm.
- Fill up your washer bottle and check your anti-freeze/ coolant
The last thing you want to discover when you wheel your classic car out of the garage, is that either your washer fluid has run out, or indeed it has been sat growing something nasty whilst laid up in the garage! Easter is early this year so with the risk of a cold snap still on the cards, ensure it is of a strong enough concentration to prevent freezing and ensure you have streak and muck free visibility out on the roads this Easter.
The same goes for coolant and anti-freeze in the radiator expansion or header tank. Ensure it is topped up and of good enough concentration to prevent either freezing or overheating. It is never wise to use water on its own because as well as being less efficient, it can lead to corrosion within the engine’s waterways. Your local garage can assist with testing the concentration of coolant and antifreeze.
- Check your wipers
No matter how fresh and concentrated your washer fluid might now be, it is no good if your wiper blades are shot. The cold weather this winter and the heavy frosts takes its toll on the plastic and rubber components on windscreen wipers. So, to ensure you are ready for any April shower that may descend this Easter – check their condition and replace if necessary. If they are in good condition or relatively new, then take the opportunity to clean them with a bit of screen wash or even malt vinegar!
- Plan your route
There are a number of online map and route planning tools as well as traffic reports and sat-navs at our disposal now. So, it has never been easier to navigate around the UK at Bank Holiday time. To save you and your family getting frustrated by the inevitable Easter delays as the nation’s motorway system struggles to cope, why not plan a more scenic route or at least research where those pesky road works are likely to be and plan to avoid them!
HAPPY EASTER FROM ALL AT DUCKHAMS