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  • Writer's pictureDerek Kennedy

Going on a road trip this Summer?

Here's how to be prepared for some of the most common car problems that may arise while you're on the road...

Make sure the only time you're spending on the side of the road is for taking photos

The last thing anyone wants on a road trip is car trouble.

It's easy to be prepared for some of the most common car problems that may arise by having a few inexpensive items in the boot of your car.

How many of these do you have?

1. A tyre pump

Lidl and Aldi are great for stocking these from time to time but you can also find them for sale at your local motor factors or even some hardware stores that have a car section. A tyre pump that connects to your car's cigarette lighter for power is a really handy gadget to keep in the car in case of a tyre going flat. It'll pump up your tyre quickly and with minimal effort from you and help you get back on the road so that you can get it fixed properly nearby if necessary. This is great if you get a slow puncture on your travels.

2. Washer fluid and spare wiper blades

Nothing says 'summer road trip' more than all those bugs on your windscreen! Keep your windscreen squeaky clean by making sure you've got some extra washer fluid in your boot and even a spare pair of wiper blades - you may want to change them to get the best clean if you're spending a lot of hours touring on your road trip.

3. Headlight bulbs

These are really handy to keep in the car in case one or both of your headlight bulbs fails and you're a long way from home and your familiar motor factors or car store. The general recommendation these days is to drive with your lights on at all times to signal maximum visibility to other road users and this is especially important if you will be driving at night. No one wants to negotiate dark country roads with only one headlight! The most common headlight bulb is a H7 bulb and they can be bought for a few euros at your local motor factors. If you need instructions for changing a bulb yourself, YouTube usually has a video for each make of car.

4. A litre of oil

You're driving along when suddenly the oil light on your dashboard lights up. What do you do? An oil light requires you to immediately stop driving your car. If you drive with no oil in your engine, you will very quickly do extensive damage to your car and in some cases, end up requiring an entirely new engine. It's important to check your oil level regularly and to get all oil lights checked out ASAP by a mechanic. A litre of oil might get you out of a tight spot but it will only be for a short while.

5. A high-vis vest, a breakdown triangle and a torch

No one wants to be broken down on the side of a motorway or even a country road, but definitely no one wants to be broken down AND not have a high-vis vest and breakdown triangle to be seen by other road users, especially on a dull or wet day. Both are really cheap items to have - buy them once, store them in the boot and you're sorted for that emergency. A torch is also really useful for looking under your bonnet if needed.

6. Jumper cables

You come out of your B&B one morning only to find you left your lights on last night and your battery is flat. Your kindly B&B host offers you their car to jumpstart from, but neither of you have jumper cables. Now what? Jumper cables are an incredibly useful item to have in your boot. Invest in a quality set with surge protection to protect your car's electrical components.

Safe motoring and happy holidays everyone.

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