Important Vehicle Checks for Caregivers to Do Before a Long Journey

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If you take care of people with physical or neurological disabilities for a living, you’ll know how thorough you have to be when it comes to planning a trip. Not only do you have to check if the place you're visiting has mobility access, but you also need to make sure that the journey itself is as comfortable as possible and doesn’t inflict any stress on the passengers. 

If you’re feeling anxious about an upcoming trip, here is a comprehensive list of all the vehicle checks you need to undertake before a big journey or outing. 

Air conditioning

As the weather starts to warm up, it’s really important to check in advance that the air conditioning is working to protect your loved one from heat exhaustion. Considering the incredibly high temperatures that the UK reached last summer, it’s likely that hot summers are going to be commonplace. If you find that it’s not working properly, you might need to replace the whole system. 

The recharge process is relatively simple and requires you to remove any old refrigerant gas and oil from the air con system before replacing it with the recommended amount of refrigerant and lubricant. Therefore, you will need to purchase some quality aircon regas before taking it to a mechanic. Luckily the whole process only takes about an hour!

Brakes and oil

We don’t need to tell you how important it is to check how well your brakes are functioning. Perform a few brake tests to see if they’re working efficiently and take the vehicle to a mechanic if you have any concerns. You also want to check the oil level under the car bonnet. Such checks are really simple to do and are often missed before seeing out on a journey.


Make sure all your vital power systems are working before leaving. You can normally see this by looking at the dashboard. If there are any warning lights, take the vehicle to the mechanic and intercept the problem before it gets any worse. 

Other general checks

There are plenty of general things to check, most of which can be done in a matter of minutes. This includes inspecting your glass for cracks or damage, fixing your mirrors so they’re at the right angle, and double-checking that your fuel cap is screwed in correctly.

You might also want to check the inflation level of your tyres. If they’re too low, you can easily inflate them at a petrol station. It’s also a good idea to check that your lights are working efficiently. Wait until night-time to make sure they’re glowing brightly enough. If not, you might have to get them checked in order to ensure your car’s visibility.

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I'm Alice and I live with a dizzying assortment of invisible disabilities, including ADHD and fibromyalgia. I write to raise awareness and end the stigma surrounding mental and chronic illnesses of all kinds. 

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