Lessons from the hard shoulder

Take care of your car people! This is not the post that I was planning to write tonight (or ever) because car maintenance is totally boring, right?

Car care

We headed into London this morning on the M11 with the 3 kids in the back of our people carrier. The plan was to meet friends in a park for a birthday celebration. We hadn’t been on the motorway very long when the temperature gauge rocketed up to the red mark and the warning light came on. Rolando pulled onto the hard shoulder. Once it was cold enough to check we discovered that the coolant reservoir was almost empty. The only water we had to use was in the kids water bottles (which wasn’t very much).

We waited about half an hour for things to cool down. The lorries speeding past us every couple of minutes were rocking our car. We let the kids eat crisps and read them Mr. Men books to keep them entertained but I wont lie I was quite scared. When the temperature had gone down we drove very cautiously to the nearest motorway services and bought two bottles of coolant.

We had our lunch in the service station and I got a Starbucks coffees to calm my nerves. It was actually a really nice little moment together – probably because I was so relieved to be safe and because things could have been a hell of a lot worse. The coolant did the trick and we got home safely (although Sofia was a bit gutted our day in London had been cancelled).

To avoid scaring the pants off yourself on the motorway – learn how to do basic checks on your car! We’ve learnt our lesson and will make sure we are more careful in the future.

End of public service announcement!

4 thoughts on “Lessons from the hard shoulder

  1. How scary for you. We’ve stopped a couple of times on dual carriageways recently for screaming/vomiting children and it’s so frightening even for just a couple of minutes. I’ll be sure to find out how to check the coolant level in our car!

  2. Wow..
    What a lovely post.I have faced the same issue of running out of coolant for my car. So I guess we are in the same boat. Running basic checks on your car is extremely important before you hit the road. It is definitely scary and nerve ricking when anyone is caught in such a situation.
    Regards;
    Cortney G

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