Essential pre-road trip maintenance tips
Posted by: Cal on 17/12/2013
Whether you're driving cross-country this Christmas or saving the big trip for a family getaway in January, it's likely you'll spend some time in your car these holidays. Before you set off on your great adventure, it's a good idea to do a thorough check-up of your vehicle to ensure it gets you and your loved ones safely to your destination.
Follow these tips to ensure your car is road-worthy this silly season, and stay safe on the roads.
Proper tyre maintenance is essential to ensuring your car is as safe as possible. Stop off at a service station before your road trip to make sure your car tyres are inflated to the correct levels - you can find these in the owner's manual or on the panel inside the driver's door.
Don't neglect your spare tyre, either. Inflate this to the correct air pressure level so you're not caught short should you get a flat tyre.
While you're at it, check your tread to make sure it's not running low. Balding tyres can be hazardous on roads, and uneven tread can be a sign of more serious problems, so take this check seriously.
Check your fuel levels to ensure you have an adequate amount for your trip. If the level is below the minimum indicated on your dipstick, make sure to top this up before you go anywhere.
If you're nearing the time of your next oil change, get it done before your big trip. Your owner's manual should tell you how often you should change your oil, so check this and act accordingly. Always use the correct grade of high quality motor oil (your owner's manual or service centre assistant should be able to advise you on this) as this will help protect your engine life.
If you've noticed any squealing or grinding coming from your car when you apply the brakes, it's vital you get this looked at before your road trip. A high-pitched squeal is often a sign that brake pads need replacing, whereas a grinding noise indicates your brake pads might be wearing out.
Any unusual sounds coming from your car should be investigated as soon as possible, so don't hesitate to take your car down to your local mechanic!