More and more of us are choosing to enjoy our holiday time at home in Ireland. And why not, seeing as we have arguably the most beautiful countryside in the world (no matter what they say across the water!). Some of these staycations will involve trains and planes, but overwhelmingly it will be automobiles that the majority of us use to get to our final destination.
Whether for a long weekend, extended road trip, or self drive holiday, the car will be the star. Like any star, your car needs pampering and treating properly, and that means pre-holiday preparation is vital. With this in mind, the tyre experts at Advance Pitstop put together this short yet essential holiday season checklist for your car. It’ll help ensure your journey goes smoother, and hopefully incident free – though we can’t make any promises about traffic jams!
Your levels need to be in tip top condition
That goes for coolant, water, oil, screenwash and air. Ensure you have enough of each, and check the systems themselves for any blockages or leaks. You should also ensure your battery level is sufficiently charged. The air levels are in reference to…
Making sure your tyre pressures are correct
Believe it or not, your pressures will make a make a huge difference to your driving experience. From tyre wear to ride quality to fuel consumption and driver safety, your pressures are influential in so many ways – both positively and negatively.
You’ll find your vehicle’s correct pressures either on the inside of your driver door, or the inside of your fuel cap. And don’t forget to factor in whether your vehicle is overly laden or not, as any extra weight will make a big difference to your tyre pressure values.
Ensure your tyres have good tread depth
These are often overlooked, but are arguably the most important thing you should check for before you set off on your road trip. Your tyre tread provides you with all the essential grip you need to drive safely on the road. This is especially the case in wet weather conditions, something we get all too much of in Ireland – even in summer time. And while we may all pray for clear blue skies and dry, sunny weather when we’re on vacation, most of us know from long experience that the Irish summer is prone to the occasional downpour or two, right?
Tyre experts like Advance Pitstop and Continental recommend that your tyres have at the very least 3 mm of tread depth. Why? Because any lower than this and the grip your tyres are able to offer begins to significantly deteriorate, and that’s dangerous for you – and your passengers.
Always check your tyres for any signs of damage
The last thing you want on a driving holiday is for your tyres to give up on you. The chances are it could happen in the middle of nowhere, and with little or no mobile signal. It could be either a puncture or sidewall blowout that brings your journey to an end, potentially endangering your safety, too. Be sure you check for tyre damage before you set off on your journey. Keep a sharp eye out for any cuts, nicks, tears, cracks and bulges, as well as for objects that may be lodged in your tyres – such as nails, glass, stones, or other debris.
Fit tyres that are either self-sealing or runflats
A smart way to avoid having to stop your journey because of a puncture is to fit tyres with highly regard Contiseal™ technology. Tyres with this clever tech automatically self-seal any holes that are up to 5 mm in diameter from the inside, thus ensuring you can safely continue on your journey without the need to come to an immediate stop. This affords drivers the opportunity get to a nearby garage, or park up in a safer, less intimidating environment to change their tyre.
Another smart option is to drive on Continental SSRs – Self Supporting Runflat tyres. In the unfortunate event of experiencing a puncture, these super strong tyres (they have reinforced sidewalls) will allow you to continue driving for up to a further 50 miles, before you need to stop and change the tyre. Again, like Contiseal™ tyres, this means you can change your tyre at a safe location, rather than on a busy motorway or blind country lane.
One more thing to remember
If the worst comes to the worst, and you anticipate having to change your own tyre, be sure that your car jack and locking wheel nut key are in your vehicle. Also, make sure that they’re easily accessible.
Ask an expert – talk to Advance Pitstop
If you want advice to help ensure your car is up to scratch before you set off on your driving holiday or road trip, talk to one of the highly trained experts at your local Advance Pitstop branch. You can find your nearest one at the top of this page, under ‘Find a branch’.