Pack the snacks, start the playlist… we’re going on a road trip! Let’s face it, there really is no way of avoiding being on the roads this holiday season. Whether you are packing up to go see the fam for Christmas or making those early Xmas celebration plans with all your friends, you are most likely going to be heading on a trip sooner or later.
Here is a quick checklist of things to check over on your car before you head!
1. Check your oil
This is an easy but very important one! Oil for your car is like sunscreen for your skin. It protects the engine from friction and heat to prevent it from burning up and wearing. When on long road trips this is vital as your car will essentially be on and working for a longer period of time than usual. See below on how to check your oil:
2. Check your tyre pressures (don’t forget your spare) and also the tread
Unless you are a car lover or are related to someone who is (thanks Dad for checking mine), it is not likely that you have checked your tyre pressure in a “little” while. No, I don’t just mean the visual inspection or the tyre kicking check, I mean actually pulling up to a tyre pressure pump at a servo.
Having under-inflated tyres means more tread touching the road, which essentially means more heat and friction and a bigger possibility of having a blowout. Travelling at higher speeds and for longer distances means more friction and heat are generated. The inside of the driver's side door should have the correct tyres pressures needed for your front and back tyres.
3. Check that all lights are working, including your indicators
Having working lights and indicators is important to keep you and others safe on the roads. Many times, your lights can go out without you even realising, until someone else points it out to you or you get a fine. Grab a friend, grab a stranger, get those lights checked!
Handy tip: if you don’t have anyone to help check your lights, you can use reflections to check for yourself. Next time you park in front of a storefront or reverse in, flick your lights, indicators and brakes on to check everything is working how it should be!
4. Check the engine coolant levels and wiper blade fluid
This one is easier than checking your oil but just as important. Firstly, make sure your car is cold before checking the water! The water must be between the minimum and maximum level, if it’s on the low side, fill’er up!
Handy tip: use a (cold) kettle or water bottle to fill up the wiper fluid rather than a cup, much easier to not make a mess!
5. Lastly and most importantly (kinda) – SNACKS AND MUSIC
Although you may think we are kidding, this is important in helping keep you safe and awake during your drive! Having some snacks will help keep you stimulated and energised throughout your trip. Setting up your playlist prior to leaving will make for a fun road trip and most importantly, will keep you off your phone during the drive!
So what's it going to be? 2000's ballads? Girls night out? Disney? (sorry parents, we know you don't have a choice)
If you need to book your car in for a service before you hit the road this Christmas break - click here!
Written by Brooke Watts