Is Your Car Touring Ready?

After more than 3 months, lockdown restrictions will be eased on caravan and touring parks from the 4th of July in England. As the British Summer is well and truly here in its full glory, no doubt many of you will be keen to get away in your Motorhome or take your caravan somewhere to enjoy our celebrated beauty spots.

However, before doing so, especially if your vehicle hasn’t been used to any great extent recently, it is recommended to do a thorough checkup of your vehicle in advance. The last thing you’d want is a delayed or even an abandoned break.

Checks To Carry Out Before Travelling

  • Battery
    If you have had to recently “jump start” your vehicle after it was not used for a while, make sure that it is now starting up without any problems, especially if being left for a few days. A flat battery can spell disaster on a road trip.
  • Fluids
    Check the levels of your vehicle’s essential fluids thoroughly. Ensure your engine oil is in-between the minimum and maximum marks of the dipstick, top up if required using the correct oil, but do not overfill.Check that your coolant has recently been refreshed and is in between the minimum and maximum marks on the header tank, topping up if required – but please do both the check and top up when the engine is cold.It is also worthwhile to check your windscreen washer fluid reservoir and top that up too.
  • Tyres
    Make sure your tyre pressures are correct and make any adjustments required, especially if you intend to tow a caravan as the pressure requirements on the rear may be slightly different from those when unladen. Also check your spare wheel – and of course your caravan’s tyres!
  • Lights
    Do a visual check of all your lights AND those of your caravan and replace any failed bulbs or have any electrical issues resolved in towing electrical connections well in advance.
  • Brakes
    Take a moment to visually inspect your brake pads, through the wheels, where possible. Towing adds extra pressure and reliance on good brakes. You’d be surprised at the amount of call-outs for brakes that are received from holiday destinations!
  • Clutch
    Does your clutch pedal feel it has good even pressure and have you noticed any untoward noises, snatching as you change gear or even difficulty getting into gear. Now would be a good time to have that looked at.

Aside from that, don’t forget to check your cigarette lighter socket is working properly, so you can charge mobile devices, and ensure you carry your car insurance and breakdown assistance details with you.

A note from our Mechanic in Residence

Drive carefully with due consideration to other road users, know the speed limits and check the access before heading down a lane and off the main highway. You may not be in a rush, but do check your mirrors for following traffic and pull over when safe to do so to let the “locals” past you. We do appreciate it, especially down here in Devon! Happy Touring!

– Nigel, ClickMechanic’s Mechanic in Residence and Devon resident!

If you are unsure whether your vehicle is safe and ready to drive for a longer road trip, then book a FREE phone consultation  with one of our experienced in-house mechanics or place a booking online for our 28-point Vehicle Health Check.

Book your car repair now

Con-fused? What To Do When Your Car Blows A Fuse

At some point, you’ve probably heard someone mention that their car has ‘blown a fuse’, the reasons why can often be mystifying. This week we’ll break down what fuses do in a car and how you can best deal with a blown fuse.

Fuses are an integral part of a car’s electrical system, and help protect the various electrical components fitted to your car. With cars becoming ever more complex electrically, however, the number of fuses used has also increased. With this has come more confusion over which fuse could have blown and why.

Fuses – What Do They Do And What To Do If They Fail

  • How does a fuse work?
    The main part of a fuse is a thin wire or metal strip designed to melt at an electrical current draw slightly over the standard draw of the electrical component(s) and wiring it is protecting. When this metal strip or wire melts, it does so very quickly, which is why you can see them flash and pop, hence the term ‘blown’.
  • How do I know a fuse has blown?
    The first obvious sign is that the equipment you were trying to use, no longer works. You may also find that a few other items may not work either and that is a very clear indication of a fuse being blown. Many circuits use the same fuse to protect them, so for instance, if your radio, interior light and electric mirrors no longer work, it could be the fuse that covers them.
  • How do I find out which fuse has blown?
    The best place to start is your vehicle’s handbook, if you still have it. There will be a section on the fuses and what they cover. It will also tell you the location of the fuse box and also, more importantly, which fuse it is! Most fuses will be colour coded. The most common ones are 5A orange, 10A red, 20A yellow and 30A green. When you pull out the fuse, you should be able to see if it has blown by the broken strip or even a blackened burn mark where it has burnt.
  • Do’s and Don’ts
    • Only replace a fuse when the equipment, and ideally the ignition, is switched off.
    • If there are a number of items that are protected by one fuse, only switch them on one by one. Otherwise, if it blows a second time, you will not know what item is causing it.
    • Never replace a fuse with a higher rating than the one you are replacing. Equipment may be damaged, or in the worst-case scenario, the wiring loom can melt instead which can cause a fire!

If you are unsure what is wrong with your car’s electrics or need help finding out why a fuse keeps blowing, then book a FREE phone consultation with one of our experienced in-house mechanics or place a booking online for a diagnostic inspection.

Book your car repair now