Friday, 29 September 2017

Know Before You Go

Break Down - Mini Cooper

For a long time I was a complete scaredy cat when it came to driving, and my anxiety meant that I was very limited as to where I could and would go. This has thankfully relaxed over recent years and there isn't really anywhere that I wouldn't go, I drove into the centre of Birmingham earlier last year on more than one occasion, and although I wouldn't do it again in a hurry, it is something that I was rather proud of. 

I find myself driving to Uxbridge fairly regularly, which is about a 90 minute drive from my home in Worcestershire, and it's now a drive that I quite enjoy, especially when it is just me in the car and I can turn up the volume and sing my little heart out as I blast down the M40. 

Now I am happier to venture further afield I have realised that I need to make sure my car maintenance is up to scratch (Yes I have learned this the hard way). My luck (or lack of luck) with cars got me thinking about what you need to do before you set off on any considerable journey, and the basics of course are making sure you have a valid MOT and that your is fully serviced (Kwik Fit are always very good)

One example of my bad luck was after a visit to Bath with the bestie, we got there no problem at all, and thankfully we made it back to our home town, but it was then as we sat in traffic coming through town that I realised that my car bonnet was smoking. At first I thought it was the exhaust of the car in front, but of course no such luck. I pulled the car over to the side of the road and stepped out for a closer look (not that I have a clue what I am really looking at), and saw that water was pouring out underneath, and despite not having a clue about cars, I knew that this wasn't good. 

The poor Mini (who is no longer with us) had to be towed away to the garage, where she had been spending a considerable amount of time by this point. It was only the month before that a wheel went bang on a motorway journey from Nottingham, and I was left in gym shorts on the hard shoulder for a good few hours (because guess who didn't have any breakdown cover!?).

I was just thankful for my yoga mat, umbrella and hoodie during that time, and not so thankful for the cold and the rain that decided to make an appearance. 

So what should you do before you get on the road?

- Make sure you have valid breakdown cover and all of the details you need.

- Check your water and oil levels (it never hurts to top them up).

- Check your tyres air pressure (Guess who didn't when their wheel went bang?)

- Make sure your spare wheel (if you have one) is where it should be (Just in case)

- Keep an umbrella, coat and water in the boot (Because you never know)

I have since traded in that little Mini of mine because frankly, she was nothing but trouble. Off road more than she was on it, and the car tax alone was £300 odd pounds a year, so I decided that I needed something cheaper to run and that was more practical for the puppy. 

Thankfully so far there have been no real issues with the Skoda... And I for one hope that it stays that way!

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