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What do I need to do to my car to prepare for a track day?

Discussion in 'FAQ' started by Dave, May 1, 2004.

  1. Dave

    Dave MGoT President

    Preparing your car for a track day is not as daunting as perhaps it may sound. The main principle that you need to bear in mind is that your car is going to undergo some very heavy use - much more than the equivalent mileage on the road for example. Therefore there are 3 areas you need to look at:

    1. Engine
    The engine is going to be used hard - you don't need me to tell you this! So with this in mind, check that all the vital fluids are topped up, but not beyond their maximums - having too much is sometimes just as bad as having too little. Check the condition of the oil - if a black sludge is evident on the dipstick, then consider getting the oil changed - preferably before the track day, if not immediately afterwards!

    2. Safety
    Again, this is not a difficult thing to predict - so check that your seat belts are in good condition and your seat is securely and properly fastened to the floor pan. Check the condition of the brakes - you are going to be using these hard, so if you don't know when the fluid was last changed, changing it before the fluid boils on the track and you lose your brakes, would be a good idea. Likewise, check the condition of the brake surfaces and pads - if you are unsure how to do this, get your local mechanic/garage to check this out for you.

    3. Tyres
    This is the most vital interface between you, in the car, and the road surface below. Those boring round things will be doing the most work keeping you on the black stuff and off the greenery... So check the condition of the tyres - the tread, the tyre walls (make sure that the walls have no bulges or blisters) and tyre pressures. For track days, you may need to add a little extra air (your handbook may give some useful hints on tyre pressures for prolonged fast running - but these are guides only, so get expert advice and experiment on the track as necessary).

    Beyond this, it is a question of having a car in good condition, paying particular attention to the suspension. But most of all, what we are talking about is common sense!
    Last edited: May 1, 2004

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