29th July 2022

Your Vehicle - 5 Things To Check Before A Summer Road Trip

Summer holidays are right around the corner, so it’s time to prepare to go out and have fun! While some people enjoy staycations, others prefer to see other parts of the world. And nothing beats hitting the open road with family or friends. However, before you jump in your vehicle for a road trip, be sure your vehicle can withstand the stress of all the additional driving. Here is the John Delany Motors checklist of things to do before you go, to ensure your car is set for the summer drive and guarantee the safety of you and your travel party.

Tyre Check:

All tyres must be checked, including spare or “get you home kit” before any long journey. Check for correct pressures (don’t just rely on the car checking for you on the dashboard). Check also for tread wear and condition, ensuring no cuts and bulges in the sidewalls. Checking your tyre pressure is crucial, especially before embarking on a long journey or carrying a heavy load.

Driving on tyres with inaccurate inflation pressure is risky and can ruin the tyre, affecting the fuel economy, among other things. You can find the maximum weight guidelines for vehicles may be found in the owner’s handbook. Additionally, get your tyres to your local garage when you notice the following:

  • Steering wheel vibration or vibration in on the floor of the car. This is often a sign of alignment or balance problems.
  • If you find that any of your tyres are continuously losing pressure.
  • A strange squeaking, whining or creaking sound coming from the car. Believe it or not this can also be a sign of issues with your tyres.

Water and fluids:

Fluids are the lifeblood of your vehicle. And even though your car, van or motorhome will continue to run and operate with low or unclean fluid levels, it can harm your vehicle’s long-term health. Check that the coolant level is correct on the bottle – (if not, get it checked at the garage). A low level is an early indication of a possible leak. Also, ensure the screen wash is topped up as summer bugs are always difficult to wash away.

Check all other vital fluids, including brake fluid, transmission fluids and power steering levels. Your car will travel many miles on a road trip, and you will be pushing the brake pedal multiple times throughout the journey. The last thing you want is your brake fluid to run out while you’re on the road. Bring your car to the local garage if you go over these fluids, observe any strange indicators, or feel a repair is needed.

Oil level:

One of the most important things to inspect is your engine oil. While the engine is switched off, remove the oil dipstick, clean it, and reinsert it. Check the levels after removing the dipstick. Your oil should be halfway between the low and high markings; top it off if that is not the case.

While on a road trip, it’s always a good idea to have some engine oil in your trunk if you need to top up. This is a must-check since you may experience major issues if the vehicle has a low level. The oil acts as a lubricant for the moving parts within the engine, slowing down the wear and tear. Regular checks are essential for operating your engine smoothly and getting the most mileage.


If you have any lights on the dashboard telling you there is an issue, get them checked. The same goes for any harsh noises, squeaking, or vibration and wobbling in the steering when braking, as these are all indicators of worn brakes. Ever heard a grinding noise when driving? Again, this can be a sign you have a problem with your brakes, the brake pad or shoe scraping on metal contact points means you need to get your brakes services asap. Another warning sign you have an issue with your brakes is when you feel the car pull to one side when braking.

Worn-out brake pads might also make your travel substantially more unsafe, making stopping your automobile more difficult. It would be best if you changed your brake pads every 25,000 to 70,000 miles.

If you have brake problems, you should tell your mechanic immediately or send it to the nearest Stockport car service if you live in the area. After evaluating your brake pads, your mechanic will inform you if they need to be replaced. Get them checked before you leave!

Don’t forget the little details:

When getting ready to embark on a holiday most of us have a packing checklist, you need to add a comprehensive road trip packing list specifically for your car, van or motorhome. Make sure you include all the basics when getting ready. Check on the little details like emergency medical kit, warning triangle, or spare bulbs. Some countries have different requirements, so always check before you leave. If driving in other countries, also note that an International Driving Permit (IDP) is now required through Europe. Most people enjoy road trips because of the freedom and control they provide. The second most important factor is the ability to pack whatever and however much we want make sure your vehicle checklist is as comprehensive as your general holiday checklist.

While the above are the five top things to check before heading out for a staycation or road trip abroad this summer, it can be useful for even the most experienced drivers or travellers to get specialists to assess their vehicle readiness. A Stockport garage like Delany Motors is your best option if you live in Greater Manchester, Stockport, and Cheshire. We are experts at what we do and want to make sure you feel safe and happy with your vehicle this Summer and can enjoy the ultimate road trip. Get in touch today.