Go safely on vacation by car, prepare your car
If the car breaks down on vacation, good advice is often expensive. The most common breakdowns can be prevented with simple means. A thorough check before departure is easy on the nerves and on the wallet.
An ascent and descent with a full load is a real test for the brakes. If the brake fluid is no longer fresh, the brakes can fail in such situations. Brake fluid testers (around 20 euros) measure the water content in the fluid. If the tester sounds the alarm, the car should go to the workshop again before going on vacation.
It’s best to add oil before you go on vacation. It is essential to pay attention to the right variety. An indication of the type of engine that is needed can usually be found on a sticker in the engine compartment. Corresponding lists are also available in many petrol stations. You can also mix motor oils – any oil is better than too little oil. If you want to test the condition of the engine oil, put a drop from the engine on an indicator paper (around 12 euros for two sheets).
The number one cause of breakdowns – even in summer – is the battery, according to ADAC. It charges itself through long journeys. But in summer it is particularly demanding if, for example, a cool box is connected in addition to the air conditioning system. Good battery testers are only available from around 200 euros. Therefore, you should take the risk of a defective battery. There are also replacements abroad – with little language skills and for little money.
Engine indicator light
Even if the yellow engine indicator light comes on, the journey does not have to end. It can be a false alarm or a temporary error. If you want to know why the electronics sound the alarm, you should have a so-called OBD tester (on-board diagnosis, around 75 euros) with you. The OBD tester shows which component the error message is from. He can also clear the fault memory. In the event of a false alarm, the problem is solved and the indicator lamp should no longer light up. If the indicator light comes on again, all that remains is the trip to a workshop.
Yellow indicator lights are relatively harmless. They are a warning signal: Please go to the workshop at the next opportunity! Only red indicator lights mean the end of a car journey.
Unnoticed by many drivers, the spare wheel has disappeared from the car. The flat tire is the biggest nightmare for drivers, but statistically it is very unlikely. In many cars there is a tire repair kit: a sealant and a compressor that is connected to the car battery. The set temporarily helps with small holes in the tire. With a patched tire you can drive a maximum of 80 kilometers per hour. The tire should be replaced as soon as possible. You should also check the repair kit. The sealant becomes tough over time. If the best before date has expired – renew!
If you don’t want to rely on yourself and the technology, you can of course have your car checked in the workshop. Many offer a comprehensive vacation check for $ 15 to $ 30.
It can also be important to cover the car on vacation. It is usually extremely warm on vacation and the sun exposure is extremely high. Who likes to get into a hot car?
It can also be important if the car stays at home and you travel with other means to safely cover the car at home in order to protect it against harmful environmental influences.
We have put together a few products for you to protect your car perfectly.