Prepare your car for travel
To travel by car without any surprises, you should check the condition of the car components and additional equipment, which has different specifications in different European countries, before departure. Don’t forget about tires that are critical to safety and comfort. Long trips at high and low temperatures, with family and luggage, should be, above all, safe.
TRIANGLE, FIRE EXTINGUISHER, FIRST AID KIT, CABLE
A first aid kit is required in almost every European country. Before the start of the trip, you should check its contents. Also, you should have reflective vests that should match the number of passengers, or at least for adults, and place them in the car, not in the trunk. You should also prepare and take the towline, jack, key, spare wheel and light bulbs to avoid discussions with law enforcement officials, for example in Slovakia, where the requirements in this regard are particularly high.
TECHNICAL CONDITION OF TIRES
Additionally, you should check the condition of the tires of the vehicle, not only installed on the vehicle, but also on the spare wheel. Tires are responsible for the contact of the vehicle with the road, ensure the correct operation of the ABS control unit, other systems, affect the car’s handling. Choosing the right tires affects safety and comfort, as well as the amount of fuel consumed, which is of particular importance for a long journey.
To ensure your safety, you must assess the level of tread wear and possible damage. According to experts, if the groove of the tread is less than 3 mm, it is recommended to replace the tires. If the depth is less than 1.6 mm, tire replacement is absolutely necessary. Tires should be checked for damage, such as deformation from various types of bumps, blisters or cracks. Extremely dangerous transverse cracks on the sides of the tire. If this defect has been noticed, the tire should be replaced immediately.
Before you go on the road, you need to measure the air pressure in the tires. This has a direct impact on driving safety and vehicle fuel consumption. A decrease in tire pressure is the result of air infiltration through microscopic gaps between rubber particles, which can be caused by damage and excessive tire wear. Too low pressure increases rolling resistance, more engine power is required to move the car. This creates higher fuel costs. The result of too low pressure is a greater stopping distance for the vehicle.
A symptom that may indicate low tire pressure is vibration on the steering wheel. If they occur, the pressure level should be checked with a compressor or pressure gauge. Tire pressure should be in accordance with the vehicle manufacturer’s instructions given in the vehicle maintenance book and adapted to the current load. According to experts, the pressure level in tires should be checked, if possible, at least once a month.