Print Posted on 07/04/2017

Tips for preparing your car for a long drive

Tips for preparing your car for a long drive

With many of us heading away for the Easter long weekend, the roads are sure to be busy and patience levels are sure to be low. The last thing anyone needs in this situation is car trouble, so it is vital to give your car a check-over before heading off on a long road trip to minimize the chance of anything going wrong.

Here’s our list of things you should check before hitting the road:

  • Pop the hood and see if you can spot any leaks. You should also check that the drive belt to ensure it isn’t cracked or worn – if it is, get it replaced before you leave.
  • Check that the battery terminals are clean and tight. It is also worth getting your battery level checked, especially if it’s 4-5 years old.
  • Check the engine oil, ensuring your car is parked on a level surface when doing so. The level should be close to the “full” mark. If it’s low, make sure to top it up. If it appears too black, you need to change it before you leave.
  • The transmission fluid also needs to be checked, especially if you are towing a trailer or will be heavily loaded.
  • Check the engine coolant level in the overflow tank – it should be between “low” and “full”.
  • It may be worth giving your air filter a clean, as a dirty air filter will cause a lack of power.
  • Make sure your brake lights and headlights are functioning correctly.
  • Check the treads on your tyre. If they are very worn, it’s worth getting new tyres before you head away.
  • If you are driving a very long distance, you should also gets your wheels aligned to save on tyre wear. If you drive on unsealed roads while you are away, you should get them aligned again on your return.
  • Tyre pressure should also be checked. Make sure your spare tire is also adequately pumped up and that you have a jack in the car.
  • If your car is due for a service, make sure you get this done before you leave. Your local mechanic can help you out with this.
  • If you are travelling “off the beaten track”, ensure you have plenty of water in the car in case your car breaks down.