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WHAT'S ON OUR PLATE

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TRACKS OF MY YEARS

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How To Prevent Your Car From Breaking Down

My Three broke up from school a couple of days ago. We haven't been anywhere yet but we are planning a visit to my parents over on the coast before they go back to school in a couple of weeks time.

My parents live just over 80 miles away from us and on a clear run, it can take anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours to get there. This means that making sure our car is safe and running well is a top priority - there would be nothing worse than getting half way there and breaking down - sitting at the side of the road with 3 children is not what I would call fun.



My tips for avoiding a breakdown are:
  • Check Your Fluid Levels - Before setting off on a long journey make sure you check your water, screen wash and oil levels, if they're low they need topping up. You don't want to be halfway into your journey and find out that you can't clean your windscreen and the last thing you want or need is for your car to need more oil and you not putting it in. You could run the risk of ruining your engine (and car) completely if you ignore this warning sign.
  • Check Your Tyres - If you suspect you have a puncture or that your tyre pressure is low, make sure you have it checked. Also if your tyres tread is less than 1.6mm you need to have your tyre changed. It is a legal requirement that all 4 tyres and spare are roadworthy. If not they could cause you to have an accident. If you need new tyres go to Ossett tyres house website for cheap and new tyres in Wakefield or anywhere in Yorkshire.
  • Have Your Car Serviced Regularly - In the manual, it says our car, a Vauxhall Zafira, should be serviced every 19000 miles - this sounds crazy to me and we even double checked with the garage to make sure it wasn't a typo. By servicing your car you will help keep it fit and healthy and running for longer.
  • Don't Ignore Lights On Your Dashboard - If you suddenly see lights on your dash they should be checked out especially before going on a long journey. There could be a really simple reason for them being on but generally, they're coming on for a reason and ignoring them could cost you a lot more in the long run. 
  • Take Out Breakdown Cover - If the worst should happen always make sure you're covered. The last thing you want is to be stuck away from home and no way of getting back on the road or back home. We know only too well about this - luckily we had breakdown cover but if we hadn't it would've been a totally different story. Let me set the scene for you, Matthew had driven to Ireland to see his son, but whilst in Ireland, the gearbox on our car broke - luckily for us the cover (it cost us just £18 for the weekend) we had taken out covered the car to be brought back home to us or else it would've either have cost us a lot to have it fixed there or even worse still we might have had to leave the car in Ireland because Matthew couldn't stay any longer and needed to be back home for work.

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