Planning on going on a festive holiday road trip? Before you do, check your car to make sure that it’s in optimal condition. This will help you to drive safe and avoid any breakdowns or mechanical issues and stay safe. Then you’ll be able to enjoy the open road worry-free!
Here’s a list of things to check before leaving on a road trip:
Check the fluids.
Checking the oil, coolant, brake fluid and water levels may help you avoid an unnecessary breakdown. Refer to your owner's manual to see where fluid reservoirs are located.
Check the oil.
A long trip can put additional stress on your motor. Adding extra oil is not the same as an oil change, you need to get rid of the sludge from old used oil. When changing your car's oil you must replace the oil filter at the same time.
Check your tyre wear.
The law says your tyres must have at least a 1 millimetre tread. Consider replacing your tyres for very long journeys as they will wear down more quickly. Tyres heat up on long trips which can cause blowouts on worn out tyres.
Check your air pressure.
The correct pressure should be printed in the owner’s manual or on a sticker on the side panel where the drivers door shuts. (The pressure marked on the side of the tyre is the maximum pressure, which must not be exceeded.) Also, don't forget to check your spare tyre pressure, a flat spare will quickly turn a bad time worse.
Check your car's air filter.
A plentiful supply of clean air to your engine improves the performance and efficiency.
Check that all lights and signals are functional.
You may need the help of another person for this. Sit in the car, turn on each light or signal and ask your friend to tell you if it is working or not. (Occasionally, lights may not work because a fuse needs replacing rather than a bulb.) Also, consider checking your headlights alignment and adjusting the alignment if it is incorrect as poor headlight alignment will reduce visibility at night.
Check that you have an emergency equipment kit.
Emergency equipment includes, an up-to-date map, spare tyre and emergency tools (e.g. flashlight, screwdrivers, pliers and an adjustable spanner). A medical kit and fire extinguisher can also come in handy in worse-case scenarios. A reflective warning triangle is another piece of vital equipment in case of a breakdown.
Complete the checklist and enjoy your road trip with peace of mind! Safe travels.