If you are considering going on a long journey which will involve some motorway driving then you need to take extra care to ensure that your car is safe and ready to do so. Unlike other roads, motorway driving often consists of driving at speeds of about 70 mph for longer periods of time. This means that your engine will get hotter and you will rely more on your brakes should you need to slow down quickly. Driving at higher speeds does come with much higher risks and chances of having an serious accident are increased.
any people carry out checks to their vehicles fluid levels, tyres and brakes on the morning of their trip, but often if you find a problem, it is too late to try and rectify it before you are supposed to leave.
Try and carry out any checks a week in advance so you have time to get the car in the garage should you need to. Make sure that your tyres are in a good condition. They should be free from damage, be within the 1.6 mm legal tread depth limit (ideally above 2mm) and have the correct tyre pressure in them.
Also be sure to check the fluid levels, Lift up the bonnet and check all fluid levels to ensure they are at the correct level. If your oil or coolant is low, be sure to top it up. All levels should be checked when the engine is cool.
Owning a car can be a worrying time. You often have no idea when something is likely to go wrong and usually it happens at the most inconvenient time.
Gear box issues, in particular, are something that many of us dread. It is often not a quick fix and can turn out to be very costly no matter what vehicle you have. Regardless of whether you have an automatic or a manual gear box in your car, any vehicle can develop gear box issues. Some makes and models of vehicles are more prone than others to develop faults. Sometimes these issues are just down to the age and mileage of the vehicle and other times it may be that a fault has developed. You may notice that there is a noise when changing gear, or that the gear box has started to become sloppy, or even that it has become stiff and hard to change gear. This is an indication that something may not be right and you need to get it looked at as quickly as possible. The longer you leave it the more likely it is to have done more damage. If your gear box goes completely not only can this make the car undrivable but it can also be very dangerous.
If you have just bought a new car or have owned your car for a while, it is important to keep an eye out for fluid leaks. Fluid can leak from a number of places and sometimes it is not an issue but other times it is a warning that something is not quite right.
The best way to spot a fluid leak is to look under your car when you drive away. You may need to pull up a little further down the road to inspect any fluid that has been left. If it has been raining then the fluid may just be water that has cascaded down the engine, but if the weather is dry you may need to do some further checks. Having the heating on or your air conditioning can cause condensation to drip down on to the floor once the car has stopped. This should look just like water.
If you notice that the drips have a greasy feel to them or you can see a rainbow colour then it is most likely some sort of oil. The oil could of come from the engine or from the transmission. You need to try and fine out where it has come from. If it is a new car or new to you, you may still have some sort of a warranty on it. If this is the case then contact the dealer that you bought it from. If not or you bought it privately, then you will need to take it to a garage for them to investigate.
Running a car can be very expensive. Not only do you have to have the money to buy or lease the vehicle in the first place but you then need to ensure that you can afford the running costs such as MOT’s, tax, insurance and fuel. On top of these costs, you also need to budget in for services and repairs. The problem with repairs is no one knows exactly how much it is likely to cost and when they may crop up. Ideally you should try and put a bit of money away each month towards the repairs that may need to be done throughout the year.
If you find that you are suddenly presented with a problem which is going to require a fair amount of money to fix it and you have no spare funds, then you need to consider your options. Some garages will allow you to spread the cost of the repairs over a number of weeks or months. Not many garages offer this service and it is essential that you check before agreeing to any repairs being carried out. If you cannot spread the cost this way, then why not look to taking out a zero percent credit card which will allow you to spread the payments over a more manageable amount.