Drivers fail to check their cars ahead of long journeys

Published 18 April 2019

Research has revealed a worrying amount of drivers fail to perform basic checks ahead of a long journey.

A study by Halfords Autocentres reveals that nearly half of drivers fail to take proper precautions before a long drive - with one in six admitting to previously causing a breakdown by not carrying out routine maintenance.

The company says that checking battery life, tyre pressure, and topping up oil are some of the fundamental inspections that motorists neglect to carry out ahead of a long drive.

This is backed up by government MoT test data, which reveals that more than 2.5 million failures could be avoided every year if drivers checked their tyres, lights, brakes and windscreen.

The data reveals that some of the most common reasons for vehicles to fail their yearly inspection include worn out windscreen wipers, lights not working and even a lack of windscreen washer fluid.

“Changing tyres to ensure better grip on the road and getting your brakes checked are all simple measures motorists can take if they plan to head out on a road trip," said Halfords Autocentres category director, Dan Williams.

“Do check your car battery and top up on windscreen washer fluid before you head out."

If you are looking to carry out basic maintenance, the research by Halfords Autocentres reveals that online platforms including YouTube are some of the most trusted sources of information.


Darryl_uk    on 19 April 2019

Check the battery before you head out - how do you check a car battery?

daveyjp    on 20 April 2019

First bank holiday of the year is New Years Day.

The fact someone is asking how you check a battery is revealing and shows how basic maintenance is no longer considered important.

If the battery isn't sealed remove each cell cap and check the fluid level, top up if required.

Sealed batteries often have a health indicator, checking it takes a second.

Edited by daveyjp on 20/04/2019 at 08:44

Darryl_uk    on 20 April 2019

Fair comment - I used to check batteries, top up cells, back in the 80’s when I was driving cars made in the 60’s and 70’s, it hadn’t occurred to me to check on a modern car. So have had a look at my 2015 c4 cactus - and can’t even see the battery. Can see a box with a load of electrics on top that must be it - but to check it will require a fair degree of dismantling, so at that point I lost interest!

GGrocer    on 25 April 2019

To check a sealed-for-life, or "jelly" battery, look vertically downwards through the little lens in the battery top, and see the colour that is showing.

Green: fully charged
Black: partly discharged
Red: fully discharged
White: fully discharged and cannot be recharged - so replace it!

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