Get your car health checked before hitting the holiday highway, urges GEM Motoring Assist

ROAD SAFETY AND breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is urging motorists to follow some simple tips before setting off on long, hot holiday journeys this summer.

A car with a flat tyre after a large blow out on the highway showing a large slit in the tyre at the side of the M25 motorway in London in the UK

GEM is predicting significantly higher levels of traffic on popular holiday roads in the coming weeks. This, combined with poorly-maintained cars being at higher risk of breaking down and the staff shortages caused by the current Covid-19 app ‘pingdemic’, is likely to put additional pressure on breakdown recovery services.

GEM chief executive Neil Worth comments: “Nobody wants to start a holiday stranded at the roadside for hours. That’s why we are encouraging drivers to get some basic maintenance checks done on their car before setting off for a well-deserved summer break.

“Of course, we cannot predict when our car is going to malfunction, but by taking care of a few basic we will be minimising the chance of something going wrong. That’s good news for everyone who simply wants a trouble-free road journey.”

Car health check tips to complete before a long holiday drive
Most of these are covered in GEM’s series of short ‘how to’ video guides.

Tyres: check the pressures and adjust if necessary to take heavy loads into account. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the tyre. Take a look at our video on how to check your tyres.

Fuel: set off with a full tank of fuel, or full battery charge if you’re driving an electric car. Plan where you’ll stop to recharge or refuel. By doing so, you won’t be one of the thousands of vehicles stuck at the roadside every year because they ran out of fuel.

Batteries: battery failures are a year-round cause of vehicle malfunction. The summer load on your car’s electrics can be greatly increased if you’re in stop-start traffic on a hot day with everyone needing to keep their mobile devices charged. A visit to your local service centre can put your mind at rest when it comes to battery health… and if it needs replacing, then you’ll want to get it done before it has the chance to let you down.

Fluids: many breakdowns could be avoided through simple and quick checks of the fluids your car needs. Consult your car owner’s manual to see what checks you can make and how to do them. And while you have the bonnet up, check your windscreen washer bottle is full.

Lights: it only takes a few minutes for you and a companion to check all your vehicle lights are working. OK, so a non-functioning light may not cause you to break down, but you could be reported by a police officer.