With isolation restrictions continuing to ease across the country, many of us are looking for opportunities to safely head back on the road for longer drives.
Before setting off, however, it’s wise to spend some extra time making these pre-drive checks at your service station.
Washer bottle and windscreen
Clear, unimpeded vision is a crucial part of safe driving. If your windscreen is streaked with mud, dried leaves, bugs, road grime and other gunk you might miss seeing something dangerous, so use the squeegee and bucket provided to give it a good clean-up.
Also check and, if necessary, refill your windscreen-washer bottle.
Incorrectly inflated tyres are detrimental to your car’s fuel economy, comfort and safety, so head over to the tyre inflator/pump to check and reset pressures while looking for cuts, debris or other issues.
Don’t know what pressure your tyres need to be? Look for the manufacturer’s recommendations somewhere around the driver’s-door area or in the handbook.
And don’t forget to include the spare in your checks – you might end up needing it!
Oil and coolant
Pop the bonnet and check your oil and coolant levels. Identifying an issue with either crucial system in the safety of a servo parking area, where you might be able to source products that could aid or even fix the issue, is infinitely preferable to finding out in a cloud of steam or smoke by the side of the road.
Luggage, racks and trailers
Your fuel tank is full, your tyres tip-top, your windscreen clean, washer bottle full and your oil and coolant look good. But before you jump in the driver’s seat, check any luggage is packed securely.
If you’ve got a roof-box or bike rack, or you’re towing, a quick check of the attachments and other vital securing devices should be added to the list.