The Bedfordshire Car & Caravan Centre

Car and Caravan Maintenance Checklist
27 February 2018

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It might still be the winter, but the holiday season is coming and it’s far better to be prepared than to enter the season with difficulties. Your car and caravan are both paramount if you’re planning to take a trip and with that in mind, they must both be checked over regularly to ensure that they are both in working order.

Of course, if your car isn’t ready or you need another car to tow your caravan then it might be time to take a look at used cars. Biggleswade is a great place to start as they have various cars that will be perfect for the caravan season but you will still need to perform regular car and caravan maintenance checks to ensure that your trip can still go ahead as planned.

Your Car Checklist

Tyre Pressure – You should always check the tyre pressure on your car – specifically when your tyres are cold and not straight after they have been used. Make sure the pressure meets the specific guidelines for your car (this can usually be found on the inner side of the driver's door frame or in the car manual). Don’t forget to check for any cuts or bulges to the side of the tyre or any erosion to the alloys.

Oil and Coolant Levels – Check the oil when the car is on a flat surface whilst it’s still warm and ensure the oil level is between the two marks on the dipstick. You will also need to check the coolant levels – again, it will need to be between the two marks.

Power Steering – Another ‘under the hood’ job - you will need to check that you have enough power steering fluid; if your steering wheel starts to feel a little heavy then it might be time to check it as you don’t want to run the risk of losing control of the vehicle.

Brakes – Being one of the most important features of a car, brakes often need checking - especially if you’ve recently been driving in the rain or in poor weather conditions. You should drive slowly and apply pressure to the brakes as you drive to check if the pads are worn and need replacing. Squeaky sounds whilst braking are also a giveaway of worn brake pads or discs.

Lights – Highly important to your driving, lights are another thing that should be checked regularly. Ask someone to stand in front and (a little further) behind the car whilst you test out the lights; ensure you test the indicator lights, brake lights, reverse lights, headlamps and beam lights.

Windscreen Washers & Wipers - With the dreary drizzle from the winter months its essential your windscreen wipers are in tip top condition. You need 100% vision for the coming months . Its also good practice to add a sreen additive to your washer bottle to stop it freezing.

Your Caravan Checklist

Tyres – Similar to cars, you will need to ensure that your caravan’s tyres are in good condition. Again, check for any cuts and bulges and also check the pressure, if it’s low the caravan may be difficult to pull and could also cause the caravan to sway.

Water and Gas Hoses – As they are essential to your holiday, you will need to check the water and gas hoses. If they are damaged they may need replacing and it’s far better to do this before your trip.

Lights – Again, lights are vital and a legal requirement, so make sure you carry out the same checks as you would with a car to ensure they are all in working order.

Breakaway Cable and Clip – Your breakaway cable is essential; it’s a safety and legal requirement, so ensuring that it’s in good condition is absolutely vital. Check for any signs of damage and if you have any concerns about the fitting then contact the manufacturer.

Brakes – If your caravan’s braking system is damaged or in need of some TLC then you will need to sort this before your trip. Brakes are one of the key elements of a vehicle that can save our life so it’s important they are in reliable condition.

The above tips should help you to ensure that both your car and caravan is in tip-top condition and ready for your trip. However, if your car isn’t ready and needs a little too much TLC then perhaps it’s time to invest in a new car?

Buying a new car doesn’t have to cost the earth, especially when buying a reliable, used car. For more information on used cars in Biggleswade please contact us today.