It’s a liberating feeling when you close your jam packed boot, pull out of your driveway and your GPS starts giving you directions to your holiday destination. You are now on the road! There’s nothing worse, however, when the car breaks down because you haven’t prepared properly for a road trip. “Many drivers unfortunately don’t understand why it’s so crucial to prepare their car for a long driving holiday. A little bit of understanding will make them think twice about overlooking the basics that could potentially ruin a holiday or have you broken down on a freeway with crying kids in the back seat,” said Leon Saliba, Co-Founder, Sparesbox.com.au. Sparesbox is Australia’s largest online auto parts store and they have prepared some basic tips on how and why you should prepare your car before you head off on a road trip.
Tyre Checks Aside from being unsafe, if your tyre pressure isn’t correct it’ll also hit you in the hip pocket. Low tyre pressure creates more friction on the road resulting in more fuel consumption. On a long road trip, this means more money spent at the petrol station rather than at a cool bar or restaurant. Aim to check your tyre pressure when your tyres are cold as the reading is less accurate when they’re hot from driving. A good time to check your tyres is first thing in the morning at a petrol station close to your home.
Wiper Check Window wipers are easily sun-damaged and if they haven’t been used in a while it’s easy to forget to check them. But having your vision is impaired by a smudged windscreen and realising how dangerous it can be to drive without good vision of the road isn’t ideal on long road trips. Avoid the danger by changing your wipers before you head off and topping up your washer fluid.
Engine Oil Optimal running of your car’s engine relies on maintaining the correct fluid levels. In the same was as you go to the dentist annually but brush your teeth daily, you should expect to service your car annually and top-up your engine oil regularly – think of it like brushing your teeth. Low engine oil levels put unnecessary stress and wear and tear on the engine and it will end up leading to a root canal of a service, which will cost you thousands! This can easily be prevented with a simple regular oil top-up.
Brakes Even the least savvy driver knows brakes are important for obvious safety reasons and you can tell immediately if they’re working or not. What you might not know is that brakes use a hydraulic system which requires fluid to keep them working. Due to different environmental factors, with constant use, and the passage of time, brake fluid levels decrease. As every person uses their car for different periods, it’s worth checking to see the last time your brake fluid was changed before going on a long trip.hould be able to see this information in your vehicle’s logbook service report.