There are several easy maintenance checks you should carry out before you set off.
Oil: If the engine doesn’t get enough lubrication, your car will break down, so do the dipstick test. Make sure the oil level is between the minimum and maximum markers.
Coolant: On a hot day, coolant removes excessive heat from your engine – essential if you’re stuck in traffic. On a cold one, it’s just as important because it also prevents the water from freezing.
Tyre pressure and tread depth: Your tyres should be inflated to the correct pressure, allowing for heavy suitcases in the boot. Most cars have a sticker (inside of the fuel filler or drivers’ door jamb) that indicates what the tyre pressures should be.
RAC is reporting that tyre depth can be checked with a 20p coin here: Snippet from RAC says: To check the tread depth, insert a 20p coin into the tread grooves on the tyre. If you can’t see the outer band of the coin face, your tyres are above the legal limit (1.6mm) and you face a £2,500 fine for each illegal tyre if stopped by the police.
Lights: If your lights are defective, then you aren’t safe – people can’t see you. Ask a family member or neighbour to check the back lights for you.
Washer fluid: Keeping your windows clean will allow you to keep an eye on any hazards on your trip. If washer fluid levels are low, make sure you top them up before setting off. For winter driving, ensure correct dilution to prevent freezing.