As families are hitting the road for a summer get-away the Institute of the Motor Industry is keen for everyone to have a safe break. With this in mind they have picked the brains of technician, John Tinham MIMI, to see what his recommendations are before starting your summer journey.
The IMI is the governing body for the Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) and Automotive Management Accreditation (AMA) schemes; it is also the home for members and professionally registered individuals working in the motor industry. Its members come from across all areas of the motor industry and are recognised for their skills and experience.
Tinham runs John Tinham Motor Engineers Ltd in Chelmsford so he is ideally placed to give motoring advice, and consumers can be confident in his business thanks to his membership of the industry’s professional association.
Here are Tinham’s top ten tips for a successful summer break.
- Tyres –always check tyre condition (including tread depths to make sure that they are legal and will last the long journey) and pressures before a long trip and adjust for loads being carried – this helps to keep fuel economy at its best.
- Always check coolant levels when the engine is cold.
- Have your air conditioning serviced and checked for operation – it will help if the weather is hot and you are stuck in traffic, by keeping the family cool, calm, refreshed and alert when driving.
- If your car is in need of a service then ideally you should go to a garage that employs ATA technicians who have passed rigorous competency tests and have proved their technical competence to work on your vehicle, or IMI members, both of whom have signed an ethical code.
- If you decide to take your vehicle for a service, make sure no extra work is carried out without your permission and ensure you know the costs involved. Finally, get an itemised bill and an explanation regarding the work carried out.
- If you are towing a caravan, check over the caravan’s tyres and brakes, especially if it has been standing for a long period. Also, make sure the towing vehicles brakes are in good condition and the brake fluid has been changed – brake fluid has a higher tendency to boil when towing.
- Make sure the spare tyre or inflation device is in good condition. Make sure you know where the locking wheel is stored – It’s not much use if stored at home.
- Make sure safety items are stored in the vehicle – i.e. warning triangle, spare bulb kit and first aid items.
- If taking your dog on a long trip or on holiday in the car do not leave them in a hot vehicle - they cannot dissipate heat like humans.
- Finally, make sure that you have breakdown cover in case the worst happens; we all take holiday insurance out why not on the car!