Is your car up to scratch?
Finally the cold season is coming to an end and spring is about to bloom, bringing along a colourful array of wildflowers and the dreaded hay fever. With school holidays just around the corner and perfect weather conditions it’s time to hit the road…Jack! If you are planning on going on a family road trip these holidays then it is a good idea to check your car to ensure it is in best condition and running smoothly before embarking to avoid any breakdowns or mechanical issues. Here is a quick checklist of things to do before you head off:
Tyre and wheel alignment
There are a number of quick checks to conduct on your tyres and wheel alignment:
– Ensure your tyres have the correct amount of air pressure, if you are unsure of what your tyre pressure should be then be sure to check the inside of the driver’s side door or owner’s manual for the most optimal pressure.
– Conduct a simple penny test to check the treading on your tyres, any uneven wear will indicate there is an issue with the wheel alignment.
– Don’t forget about the spare tyre!
– Best to get the professionals to do a full check when in doubt.
Brakes and suspension
If you are feeling shudder through the steering wheel every time you press the brake or hear a loud metal screeching sound then most chances are your brakes are on the way out. If the brakes are starting to feel spongey or give way when you press it then the brake fluids are low and will need to be flushed and refilled.
There are many different fluids to consider but it all depends on when they were last changed/topped up and the mileage on your car. Some fluids to consider:
– Oil should be flushed and changed every 5,000 to 8,000kms so if you are coming close to the end of your last change its best change it.
– Radiator fluid should be flushed and changed at 80,000kms.
– Brake Fluid should be flushed and changed every 60,000kms so best to change if you are close.
– Power steering fluid should be checked around the 40,000kms mark for any contamination.
Conduct a visual inspection of your windscreen to ensure there are no cracks or chips, if there are then we recommend replacing or repairing your windscreen. The country road can be unforgiving and any small bump or road debris can worsen the state of your windscreen completely impairing your vision of the road. Put safety first and get a repair or replacement where it is still convenient to do so.
Lights and battery
Check to see if all the lights on your vehicle are working, this can include:
– Headlights are clear, operational and are pointing at the correct angle.
– Park lights are clean and clear.
– Tail lights and brake lights are all clear and operational.
– Indicators ensure that each indicator is working as well as your tow if applicable.
– Fog lights
The car battery usually needs to be replaced around every 3 years so if you are approaching this mark or your car seems a little sluggish when starting then its best to replace your battery or contact a professional.
Here is a checklist if you are planning on towing a caravan:
– Service your tow
– Check the suspension
– Check the download
– Check tyre pressure
– Test caravan lights
– Check wheel bearings
– Don’t overload your caravan
– Double check your tow is hitched