The holidays are just around the corner, and it’s about time your car is taken for a good long spin after all the short-hop commuting. Your trusted mechanic has already checked the oil, coolant and brake fluid, but you won’t notice these things sitting inside your car anyway. Let’s therefore take a look around our luxury tourer once more and then get in the car, keeping our eyes peeled and noses open to make sure that the interior of our living room on wheels will be in tip-top condition for our grand trip to the far south or north.

Before you take a seat though go down on your knees in front of the tires for a moment. Yes, the tires. Your car’s shoes are vital and always forgotten, unless they go flat or wobble while driving. Is the tread still deep enough? Is the tread worn down evenly on both sides of the tire? If not, the wheels may be misaligned. Are there any screws or other foreign objects trapped in the grooves? You’ll be surprised how long you can drive around with a nail in your tire without noticing, but you can bet on the tire going flat once you’re off on holiday. Are the sidewalls porous or damaged because of hitting the sidewalk too often?
The golden rule is to never cheap out on tires, but rather replace them. They are vital.

Next, take your car into your neighbor’s garage, under a bridge or someplace dark, and check if all dashboard lamps are working when the lights are switched on. Especially when driving at night, the partial eclipse behind the speedometer or the coolant thermostat, and the dark around the fan switch and clock are annoying. In most cars, dashboard lamps can be replaced easily and without great technical knowledge; why not upgrade to modern LED lamps, for example from Osram? A true highlight every time you look at the beautifully lit instrument panel.

Are there any recurring warning lights, even if it’s just the windscreen water? Or perhaps some of the warning lamps don’t work anymore? After turning the ignition all signal lamps should flash once. So you’d better deal with it now if you don’t want to get stranded on the highway.

And now back to sunlight. Take a deep breath. Is it all fresh? When was the air conditioning last inspected and disinfected? You mean never?! You should invest these one hundred euros every two years and have all the germs blown out of the system (and have the refrigerant topped up as well). It’s definitely warmer in the south of Spain or France than in Pinneberg or Kassel so think ahead. And even if it doesn’t smell yet it’s worth taking a look under the foot mats. Is everything dry? Dampness in the front in combination with a sweetish smell can be because of a faulty heater core. Are the interior and pollen filters still fresh? They are quite cheap and easy to replace on your own in next to no time.

Lastly, if you now run a clean damp cloth over all the forgotten nooks and corners in your car, not only your fellow travelers will thank you. A lot of grime builds up around the gearstick, the door handle cups, and in the compartments which is not supposed to be there. You do wonder sometimes. Looking up when the doors are open will reveal whether all the lamps on the inside of the roof are working. If not, replace them with suitable lamps so that you won’t be left in the dark during your midnight break.

The carlight blog team wishes you a stress-free journey.

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