Summer is definitely a great time to head out on a road trip. Australia is a large country however, and your car can be strained by long distances and higher speeds. It’s important to be prepared, so you don’t get caught out by car issues once you’re out on your road trip and help is harder to find.
Here’s a quick checklist of things to do before your road trip to make it as safe and smooth as possible, so you can sit back and enjoy the drive.
If you’re close to a scheduled service, book it in well before you go so there is enough time to make any repairs that might be needed. Having a well-tuned car will not only ensure you travel safe, but it also can help ensure efficient petrol use and reduce emissions.
If you’re between services, it’s a good idea to at least check your oil, water and brake fluid levels before you head off. Your owner’s handbook will generally be able to tell you how to do this.
Check the pressure of all your tyres. There should be information in your handbook about the correct tyre pressure for your vehicle (it’s sometimes listed on the driver’s door pillar or petrol flap too) and most tyre shops should also be able to help you with this. You’ll notice that there are two recommended levels of tyre pressure – one for normal use and one for heavily loaded cars. You might have to fill your tyres up more than usual if you’re travelling with lots of passengers or luggage, as your tyres will be under more strain.
Also check the tread on all your tyres to ensure they’re not too worn. If they’re nearing their limit, it’s best to get them replaced before your trip - otherwise you might be stuck somewhere waiting for a replacement.
Don’t forget to ensure your spare tyre and changing kit are in place and in good shape.
If your wiper blades stutter or smear, it’s time to replace them. A good pair of windscreen wipers can make all the difference when in hard rain.
Ensure your windscreen is clean before you leave, particularly if you’re driving at night. Don’t put detergent in your washer bottle though – it can affect some spray operations, and may damage your paint.
Lights and battery
Do a quick check that your lights all function, from indicators to high beams. It is a good idea to get your battery checked too, especially if it’s over two years old.
Check the road conditions along your route – especially if you’re travelling in areas prone to natural disasters like fire or flooding. Also make note of roadwork and detours in place that might disrupt your trip.
Make sure you’ve got your roadside assist contact details in a handy spot in case you need some help. Remember it’s always better to get an expert in to fix your car so you know it’s is in top condition.
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