If you’re returning from holiday, and you’re preparing for the year ahead, a critical part of that preparation should be looking after your vehicle. Just as much as you need to prepare your vehicle for a journey, you also need to perform some post-holiday vehicle checks, to ensure your vehicle continues to serve you and your family for the months ahead.
Here are some important tips that will help you keep your vehicle working hard for you:
Check your tyres
A long journey will have taken their toll on your tyres; they have, after all, been working hard keeping you safe on the road. Give all your tyres a once over to ensure they still have sufficient tread, and that they still look in good shape. If you feel any movement with the steering wheel, or think your tyres require balancing or alignment, don’t wait until it’s too late, get them checked by professionals immediately. Remember that a worn tyre is a danger to you, your passengers and other road users so don’t think twice: if your tyre needs replacing, do it.
Check all lights
Don’t find out when it’s too late that your headlights or brake lights don’t work. Check them on your return to ensure they’re still working properly. Remember, these are also safety features on your vehicle and should be in perfect working condition.
Check your brakes
Brakes wear and tear over a period and may need replacing. If you are in any doubt as to the condition of your tyres, have them inspected by a professional.
Check for any faults
Did you notice anything wrong while on holiday? Did a taillight blow? Did one of your windscreen wipers not work properly? Are all the internal components still working as they should? Even if your vehicle isn’t due for a service, fix these problems as soon as you can.
Check the vehicle’s fluids
After a long journey it’s always a good idea to check oil and water levels, and any fluid your vehicle uses. If you need to, consult a mechanic to help you. Vehicle fluids are critical to ensuring the continued well-being of your vehicle.
Give your vehicle a good clean
Long journeys tell on a vehicle. Take some time to give your car a good clean inside and out. Washing your vehicle yourself, with the correct chemicals and clothes, will also give you a chance to ‘inspect’ every corner of your vehicle for any damage that may have occurred while on holiday.
Check the paperwork
Review your insurance, check your warranty if applicable, and check when the due date for the vehicle’s licence disc renewal is (take a photograph and set an alarm on your phone). Keeping up to date with the paperwork on your vehicle is important as this ensures you are covered legally if any happens, and that you and your vehicle are legally on the road.
Check when your next service is due
If you have been on a long road trip, you will have added significant kilometres on your vehicle. Check when its next service is due to keep its service history up to date.
Check your spare tyre
Did you have to replace a tyre while away? If so, check that your spare tyre is still in good shape and, if necessary, replace it. Also, if you had to do a tyre change, check that all the tools you need are still where they should be. Now is also a good time to check the condition of your warning triangle and other emergency gear (such as first aid kit and other emergency gear you keep in your vehicle).