The summer vacation is coming up, the anticipation is growing and images of sandy beaches and cozy holiday homes are spreading in your head. With all the euphoria, the preparations for the journey can quickly become a minor matter. Open the trunk on the day of departure, put your luggage in and off you go? It shouldn't be that quick. A prior holiday check for the car is extremely important so that no unpleasant events affect the journey to the holiday home. A checklist with the most important points helps to optimally prepare the vehicle and accessories for the holiday trip.
Workshops offer holiday service
If you want to be on the safe side, you can visit a workshop before your holiday trip and have the car checked over there. Many CUPRA dealers also offer special holiday checks. At prices of mostly 10 to 20 euros, the investment is definitely worth it. With a little time and a closer look, vehicle owners can easily make their car fit for vacation and fix any problems themselves. The following points are particularly important to note!
Not only before a long holiday trip, but in general, vehicle owners should check the tire pressure regularly. If this is not set optimally, this can have negative effects on the braking distance, cornering and consumption. So off to the gas station: there drivers can usually check and adjust the tire pressure free of charge. It is important to increase the tire pressure, especially with heavy loads. The recommended values for CUPRA can be found on the B-pillar with the driver's door open. Tip: Also adjust the pressure on the spare wheel so that it is ready for use in an emergency.
In addition to the pressure, the tread depth is also essential for a safe holiday ride. A minimum tread depth of 1,6 mm is required by law. This is easy to check: there are small wear indicators in the profile. If the tire has worn down to this level, new tires are urgently needed. For a safe ride - even in the wet - the tread depth should be at least 3 mm.
The classic thing before every long drive should be a look at the oil level in the engine. This is not rocket science and is usually done quickly. To do this, park the vehicle on level ground and let it run briefly until the engine has reached operating temperature. Then switch off, wait two minutes, pull out the oil dipstick, clean it with a cloth and reinsert it. Pull it out again and read the oil level. Information on this is also available from CUPRA in the operating instructions. Top up with oil if the oil level is too low. For longer vacation trips, it makes sense to always have a spare in the trunk.
Especially in summer, vehicle owners should also check the cooling water so that the engine does not overheat on the holiday trip. Caution is advised here: Be sure to allow the system to cool before refilling, as it is pressurized at high temperatures.
Before starting the journey, vehicle owners should check that all lights are working properly. If a trailer is attached to the hitch, the lights must also be checked here. If the car is fully packed for the holiday trip, it is also important to adjust the headlights so that oncoming traffic is not dazzled. Vehicles with headlight range control can automatically adjust the headlights to the load.
If you're going into the Alps and up and down the pass road, the brakes have to grip properly. Therefore: carry out a short brake test before departure. If the brakes show abnormalities, are delayed, react too weakly or only on one side, drivers should visit a workshop as soon as possible. Never start a longer journey with problematic brakes!
If the car runs out of juice on a holiday trip, this can cause a lot of trouble. Batteries suffer from high temperatures just as much as we do. So if you don't want to desperately look for a way to bridge the scorching heat at the motorway service station, you should take precautions. For older batteries from about five years, a check in the workshop is recommended. Vehicle owners can also check batteries themselves for damage: If a white powder has formed on the poles, they urgently need to be replaced.
Motorway, construction site, holiday season - the traffic is already standing still. The sun beats down on the sheet metal and the air buzzes over the asphalt. It's a good thing that the air conditioning in the car hums quietly and cools the interior down to a comfortable temperature. But what if it suddenly stops working? If the air conditioning behaves unusually before the trip - in other words: smells unpleasant or only starts with a long delay - it is advisable to visit the workshop before the holiday trip. Possible problems can be fixed before the air conditioner completely gives up the ghost. Then you can go on holiday fresh and relaxed.
Worn rubbers on windshield wipers no longer clean reliably. This can be particularly dangerous in heavy rain. Therefore: Replace the wiper blades before you leave if they squeak or leave streaks on the window. Vehicle owners should also check the windshield washer reservoir and fill up if necessary.
On holiday with the family – lots of suitcases quickly accumulate. Then the bicycles should also be taken along and the bathing island also needs its place somewhere. The car can fill up pretty quickly. It can happen that the total weight is exceeded due to the large amount of luggage. The increased weight, bicycles at the rear and a box on the roof can also change the driving characteristics of the vehicle. Therefore, always drive carefully and make sure that everything is securely attached and stowed away so that the luggage does not pose a risk in an emergency.
Is the first aid kit up to date? If not: replace beforehand. An up-to-date first aid kit is just as obligatory in Germany in the car as a high-visibility vest and a warning triangle. The equipment should be stowed in such a way that it is easy to reach in an emergency and is not slumbering under layers of holiday luggage. Also advisable: check the jack, tow rope and jumper cable so that they are quickly to hand when needed. Photo credit: Cupra (Seat Sport SA)
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