Heading away over Easter? Don’t forget to check your car and have a safe and enjoyable road trip.
With the hot-cross buns flying off the supermarket shelves and school holidays approaching, get your car ready for the Easter family trip. Be sure to prepare your vehicle for the journey and enjoy the sea breeze or campfire marshmallows without any pitfalls. Don’t let a car breakdown ruin your holiday, especially when many businesses close for the Easter break. Ensure road trip safety. Check when your next service is due and book it early. One of the busiest times for auto services is right before holiday times.
Also, there are a few basic vehicle safety checks you can do yourself. It is best to perform them a week before your journey to ensure a stress-free drive. If anything unexpected turns up, give us a call and we’ll help you get to your destination safely.
Here is our ROAD TRIP CHECKLIST to help you enjoy a hassle-free journey.
Tread depth: Check the tyres’ tread depths. If they’re close to the wear limiters, consider replacements before your trip. Finding the right replacement in remote areas can be difficult. If you are not sure if your car tyres are safe, book an inspection with McCormack’s Tyres and Suspension
Pressure: Incorrect air pressure is damaging to your tyres. Check the owner’s manual, or the sticker inside the driver’s door for the correct pressure. Consider the load of the car. If you’ll be carrying a full load of passengers and luggage, inflate the tyres to the maximum load recommended.
Wear: If the wear on your tyres is not even, this could be a sign of worn suspension or steering components or faulty wheel alignment.
Spare: Don’t forget to check the spare tyre. It should be in tip-top condition and correctly inflated. Also, make sure that the tyre changing kit is still in place.
LIGHTS AND INDICATORS
Inspection: Check your headlights, taillights, brake lights, indicators and hazard lights to make sure they’re all working. Be sure to go to a dark spot one night to see if your high beams are still operating at full functionality.
Adjustment: Make sure that your headlights are correctly adjusted. Check if the dipped light beam is no higher than the bonnet of the car.
Wipers: If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your wiper blades, now would be a good time to do it. Fill the washer reservoir, and check wiper blades for deterioration or debris.
Damage: Check for chips and cracks on your windscreen and get these repaired as a damaged windscreen won’t protect you properly in an accident.
Clean: Clean your windscreen inside and out. It is especially important if you will be driving at night.
Inspection: Check thoroughly your brake discs, drums and pads, looking out for any uneven wear. If you notice any problems or if there is strange noises or vibrations, have them fixed before your trip.
Fluids: Make sure your brake fluid is topped up to the correct level. If you notice that the pedal feels spongy or has extra travel, the fluid may be contaminated.
Inspection: If your car pulls to one side, rides harder than usual or is taking a long distance to stop, you may need to replace the shock absorbers.
Go to the pros: Suspension issues can affect the way your car handles emergency manoeuvres. However, it can be difficult to diagnose. That is why it’s always a good idea to have them checked by a qualified technician.
UNDER THE BONNET
Coolant: Check your owner’s manual for specific advice about how to perform the inspection. While the engine is cold check if the fluid is clean. Also, make sure the coolant level is at least close to the ‘max’ marking. If not, fill it with a 50:50 mix of coolant and water.
Oil: Use the dipstick to check the oil level and colour. Oil should be a nice amber colour and meet the ‘max’ mark without overfilling. If it’s black, gritty, or below the minimum, get it checked right away.
Belts and hoses: Give the belts a squeeze to make sure they’re tight. Also, check for any visible cracking, fraying, or missing teeth in the belts, which indicate it needs to be replaced. Inspect the hoses for any fluid leaking, especially near joining points.
Battery: All batteries lose strength as they age. Inspect the battery for corrosion and check the charge (SAFETY WARNING: eye protection and rubber gloves must be worn to avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid). You can have it checked for free at McCormacks Auto Service. If you have less than 20% of life left, replace it. It’s easier to be replaced in the workshop than when it fails after a long day at the beach.
OR GET A PROFESSIONAL ROAD TRIP SAFETY CHECK
Of course, nothing beats the peace of mind that comes with having a qualified technician to perform a road trip safety check for your car. Make sure your travels on the road are safe, book an appointment with us.
Enjoy the journey and have a safe and wonderful Easter!