Preparing Your Car for a Summer Road Trip

road trip

Summer is almost here and for many of us, that means we’ll be hitting the road for a much-awaited holiday road trip. If you have a getaway planned for Christmas, be mindful of the increased traffic and make sure that your family is ready for a safe journey. Also, make sure that your car is geared up for the road with these tips:

Lights

Walk around your vehicle and carefully inspect all your lights. Make sure that they are all in good working order and that the lenses are spot-clean.

With more visitors in New Zealand, the children off school and locals on the road, it’s extremely important to see and be seen on the road, especially when driving in conditions that reduce visibility.

Tyres

Until five years ago, the requirement for a Warrant of Fitness (WoF) inspection was six months for most cars. Now that it has been extended to twelve months, motorists need to be more vigilant when checking their tyres. If left unchecked for a year, they are likely to wear out completely or develop uneven wear, in the least.

Before heading out for any trip, check your tyres’ pressures and don’t forget to bring a spare. It’s not only a matter of safety. It’s also a burden on your pockets because inflated tyres mean your vehicle consumes more fuel.

If you are unsure about the condition of your tyres, speak with a tyre professional. You might also need a wheel alignment and balance if you haven’t had one in a year.

Service

checking the engine

Check your engine oil and top it up when necessary. If your annual service is going to coincide with the trip schedule, get it done early. Don’t wait until you’re home from your road trip to get your vehicle serviced, as most workshops are extremely busy right before the summer holidays. Car repair services in Auckland, for instance, tend to be packed during early summer so book your service in advance.

Cooling system

Overheating on the side of the road or, worse, in the middle of jam-packed traffic is one of the worst things that can happen during your holiday road trip. To avoid this nightmare before Christmas, make sure that your vehicle’s cooling system is in full working order. Get it checked before hitting the road if you need to regularly top it up. Cooling system issues are common, especially in the summer, and can be avoided with regular checks.

Vision

Are your windscreen, mirrors and windows caked with dirt and littered with marks? Squinting through all that sets you up for an uncomfortable and unsafe drive.

Before hitting the road, clean your car’s mirrors, windows and windscreen thoroughly. Inspect the wiper blades and ensure that they are in good condition. Replace if needed. Fill up your windscreen washer fluid and always top up with windscreen additive.

Check for any stone chips on your windscreen. If you notice even the tiniest chip, get it repaired before setting off, as the summer heat and travel often cause cracks.

You’ve waited for your holiday road trip all year long, but don’t get too excited and forget about safety. Set enough time to make all these preparations, so you can fully gear up for a fun and safe summer road trip.