By Lauren Ferrone
Last updated on: November 15, 2017 at 4:35 pm
You've got the car packed, a map stashed in the glove box and Sweet Home Alabama blaring on repeat before even backing out of the driveway, but how road-trip ready are you?
1. Spare a thought
Don’t forget to check the spare tyre (generally hidden in the boot), especially before packing your luggage over it. When something’s out of sight, it really is out of mind.
2. Back to basics
Check your oil, coolant and tyres. Under-inflated tyres can affect your car’s steering and make you chew through more fuel, but don’t over-inflate them – this can lead to a blow-out or reduced traction.
Keep the tyre pressure to the manufacturer’s recommendation, which you can find in your owner’s manual or in a placard in the driver’s side door frame.
3. Shine some light
Make sure your lights are working – headlights, indicators and brake lights. If you’re towing a trailer or caravan, don’t forget to check those lights too.
4. Clean your screen
Squinting through a dirty windscreen isn’t safe, so give it a clean before heading off.
A little white vinegar on a clean cloth, or some paper towel with methylated spirits (diluted with a bit of water) should do the trick.
Check that your wiper blades are in good condition, as these are obviously key to getting rid of any bugs and dirt your windscreen collects along the way.
5. Jack who?
Being stranded with a flat tyre in the middle of nowhere isn’t the ideal pit-stop, so make sure you know where your car’s tools are, like the jack.
You’ll probably find them stored in the boot with the spare tyre, but check your owner’s manual if you can’t find them.