Road Trip – Preparing your Car
Admittedly, we have a very clear advantage. Before we start a road trip with our car, our colleagues from the workshop make sure that our drivable vehicle is well maintained. After all, we’re sitting at the source in our dealership. But that’s precisely why we know how important good preparation is.
We have summarised the tips of our workshop professionals for you:
#1 Inspection or oil change
Check according to the maintenance interval of your vehicle whether the next inspection or oil change is due soon. If yes, make an appointment with your workshop in good time so that the oil change can be carried out before your journey.
#2 Vacation check
If no oil change is due, most workshops offer a “holiday check” or a “safety check”. The price is roughly between 19 and 29 Euro without material.
10 points which you should have checked:
because what is more annoying than when your car suddenly won’t start during your holiday? If your car already has a few kilometres to go, the mechanics will also check whether the spark plugs need to be replaced.
Is the air pressure correct (see manual)? Is the tread pattern sufficient? The summer tyres should have three millimetres of tread before the long journey. If you don’t want to go to the garage, you can also check the tread yourself with a one-euro coin in Times Square Chronicles: If the brass edge of the coin disappears in the grooves, the tread depth fits because this edge is three millimetres wide.
Although the legal minimum tread depth is 1.6 mm, driving behaviour and braking characteristics are already severely restricted on a long journey! The lower limit for winter tyres is 4 mm, especially if you are driving in snowy areas! The tyres are also checked for cracks or damage.
Checking the brakes
The professionals check whether the brake pads and brake discs will continue to be used for a sufficient period of time.
Checking air and cabin air filters
The cabin air or pollen filter ensures that you are supplied with clean air inside the vehicle (regular/annual replacement is particularly important for allergy sufferers!). The air filter, on the other hand, has the task of supplying the engine with clean air in order to avoid expensive damage.
Checking the fluid levels
It is absolutely necessary to check the oil level regularly, which you should do yourself regularly. The workshop also checks the coolant, brake fluid and windscreen wiper water level.
Windscreen wipers and windscreen washer system
During long journeys, the windscreen wipers should function perfectly and the windscreen wiper water should be well filled.
Inspection of the lightin:
Attention, there are different rules in Europe concerning the carrying of spare bulbs!
First aid kit, warning triangle and warning vests
Attention, different rules apply in Europe as to how many warning vests are mandatory.
Take a look at the HU sticker on your license plate from time to time so you don’t miss the main inspection!
Further technical inspections during a “holiday check” in the specialist workshop are: Inspection of clutch, exhaust, steering, V-belt, underbody (corrosion)
Fresh air conditioning
The air conditioning system should also be serviced regularly, every 2 to 3 years. This prevents you from suddenly being without cooling when on holiday, as the coolant is empty. Perhaps you are also familiar with the unpleasant odours that sometimes escape from the ventilation slots… With a professional air conditioning service, the coolant is completely replaced, in the best case, the cabin filter is also replaced and the air conditioning system disinfected.
Another extra tip from our service manager: Turn off the air conditioning from time to time when you are on your way home. It only takes about 5 minutes, just leave the ventilation on. So evaporators and nozzles can dry and no bacteria, fungi or similar disgusting things form.
#3 useful helpers on your roadtrip
Most new cars don’t have a spare wheel anymore. If you have one, make sure it works and that the jack is in the car. If you are very concerned about safety, you can take a tow rope and a jumper cable with you. Think of snow chains in winter.
Block and pen as well as a flashlight are also useful things that should not be missing in the glove compartment.
What would we be today without electronic devices? In addition to a navigation device, a mobile phone with music and travel apps is indispensable. A USB charging cable (or adapter for the cigarette lighter) and a hands-free kit are almost mandatory.
#4 Luggage and loading
Heavy luggage should always be carried in the boot downwards and close to the rear seat back. A luggage net ensures safety in the station wagon when the boot is loaded quite high. A roof box can be a good choice (not only for skiing), especially when travelling with children. But please do not load heavy pieces of luggage into the roof box!
If you travel with a lot of luggage, please note the maximum allowed load. The vehicle registration document indicates the permissible total weight.
#5 vehicle papers, documents, important contact details
You should always carry your vehicle registration document, the current HU documents (“TÜV documents”), your driver’s license, if applicable certificates and telephone numbers for ADAC or similar mobility guarantees, the telephone number of your car dealership and the telephone number of your insurance company.