Check your car before
you start your engines
Driving after you return from holiday
You should always conduct a few safety checks before you drive off in your car after stepping off a flight.
Just a few simple checks before you start the engine
Now we are seeing travel opening back up people will be heading off on holiday but when you step off your flight having parked your car parked during your holiday do you know what to check before safely starting your car?
First of all DO NOT jump into the car and start the engine before you check your fluid levels because with today’s temperatures being in the mid 40’s, some vehicles may have lost certain fluids due to evaporation.
Take a look underneath the car to see if you have any visible oil or fluid patches. Look at the area underneath the engine and if you see lubricant or water patches be extra careful before starting your vehicle.
Here’s a quick checklist we have put together to help you safely back on the road.
- Check your coolant levels – Remove your radiator cap slowly, take a visual look at the coolant level, top up with clean water until you see the coolant extends above the grills inside the radiator or between the minimum/maximum levels if marked on the coolant reservoir.
- Check your belts and hoses – Within the engine compartment you will see several belts and hoses. Check to make sure that the hoses have not perished, that belts are tight and electrical connections are secure. When vehicles are left for long periods, hoses tend to harden whilst belts can loosen.
- Check your engine oil – Checking oil levels should be a weekly task anyway but given that your vehicle may have been off the road for some time it is so important to ensure your vehicle has enough lubricant to stop the engine from seizing.
- Check your brake fluid & power steering levels – Make sure your brake fluid and steering fluid levels are between the maximum and minimum marks shown on the reservoirs.
- Check your tyre pressures – As your car may have been sitting idle for some time, the pressure in the tyres may have gone down. Check your vehicle manual for the correct type pressure if you notice that your tyres need inflating a little DO NOT drive the car as this could ruin the tyres.
If all your levels look correct, Make sure your AC is turned off and try to start your vehicle and check for leaks again.
- If you have no leaks, and with the engine running, SLOWLY pump your brakes 5 or 6 times. Brakes can seize and become de-pressurised if a vehicle is left standing for long periods so give them a few pumps until the brake pedal feels hard to push. If your brake pedal does not become hard to push then do not drive the car as you may have a leak in the brake system. Check the areas around your wheels for visible brake fluid patches.
- Take a look at your dashboard and if you notice any engine warning lights immediately STOP the engine
- Do Not remove the coolant cap until your vehicle has cooled down. Engines run at very high temperatures and high pressure will build in the radiators so if you notice your coolant levels drop, stop the engine and wait for it to cool down before removing the cap and topping up the coolant
- Do Not rev the engine – Revving the engine from idle can cause permanent damage to it. Leave your car to tick over for a while whilst you continue to check for leaks. If you do notice any leaks – Immediately STOP your engine
- Do Not drive your vehicle if you have under inflated tyres. This will certainly damage your tyres even further
Travel insurance Done Right