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Car Service Checklist for Long Journeys

An image of a man checking the oil dispstick under the bonnet of his car


We are finally in April and signs of spring are popping up everywhere. Whilst children will be most excited for a visit from the Easter bunny, most adults, perhaps, will be most excited for the bank holidays. If you’re thinking of going on a road trip instead of staying home, vehicle safety should be your number one priority, so make sure you read this car service checklist before you set off.



Your tyres are one of the most important aspects of your car, and can often get overlooked. Keeping your tyres at their recommended pressure is essential as underinflated tyres can reduce the longevity of your tyre and affect your braking distance. In worse cases, if your tyre is nowhere near its recommended pressure, it’s more likely to cause a tyre blow out which can cause a more severe accident. You can check your recommended pressure in your car’s manual.


Also on the car service checklist, is the tyre tread, which you should check to ensure it’s safe and legal. The legal limit in the UK is 1.6mm of tread. You can check this with a tread depth indicator if you have one, otherwise, there is a simple check with a 20p piece – stand the 20p up in one of the grooves, and if you can’t see the bottom edge, then your tread is legal and safe. If you can see the whole 20p, the tread depth is illegal and you will need a new tyre. Getting caught with this could include three penalty points and a fine of up to £2,500 per tyre, so best to get it sorted.  


Under the bonnet

If looking under the bonnet is something completely foreign to you, or even a little scary, don’t worry, these checks are very simple and can be done in a few minutes. These checks involve looking to see whether you have enough coolant, oil, water and screenwash to help you have a safe journey. Simply compare your fluid levels to the recommended lines on each part, and if you need to top up, do so, but make sure you get the correct product for your car. You’ll be able to find the correct information in your manual.



This is probably the easiest to do on the car service checklist but does require another person to help you. Simply turn on all your lights one by one, not forgetting indicators and fog lights, and make sure they’re all working. Look out for any cracks on the casings as well, as if these fall off whilst driving, they could cause some damage.


Ken’s Autos

While this car service checklist looks straightforward, we understand they can be a little daunting, so if you prefer to get your car checked over by a professional, stop in at one of our garages. We operate in the Croydon and surrounding areas, including Warlingham and Sanderstead. If you would like more information on our services, get in touch by calling 01883 622 069 or via our contact form.