If you’re in Australia for the first time, taking a long-distance road trip with your loved ones can be one of the most thrilling and memorable experiences of your tour. However, it can quickly change into a nightmare if you don’t prepare your car for the trip. You may get stranded in the middle of nowhere and even Courage the Cowardly dog won’t be there to help you. So, to ensure a smooth journey, prepare your car for the trip a week before hitting the road. To help you in this regard, we have listed the top 9 ways you can do that. Let’s begin!
Get Comprehensive Car Coverage
Before you start your road trip, make sure your car insurance is adequate. You may want to consider investing in comprehensive coverage from a reputable provider like ROLLiN’ Insurance so that you are financially protected in case of any emergency. Comprehensive coverage covers a wide range of non-collision damages, such as theft, vandalism, animal accidents, and natural disasters. Since many of these are more likely to happen during a long road trip, make sure you are covered for them.
Tires are an extremely important part of a vehicle because they are in direct contact with the ground. Therefore, you need to ensure they are free from any visible defects, are correctly inflated, and have even treadwear. So consider the following considerations:
To know the required air pressure of your vehicle, look at the small label attached to your door jamb. Once you know it, always inspect whether the pressure is enough before driving. When driving towards a faraway destination, the rule of thumb is to inspect the pressure every 2000 kms. You can do this by keeping a handy air pressure gauge in your vehicle.
The most important thing to inspect is the tire’s general condition and look out for any apparent bulges, dents, or punctures. Getting help from a professional is suggested to confirm that the tire is in good condition. And even if it’s in good condition, it’s always good to keep an extra tire before starting your journey.
Wash Your Car
Washing your car is going to make your trip more enjoyable as you cruise along in a presentable vehicle that you’re proud of. So, before you start your long-distance road trip, don’t forget to perform a thorough car wash. You can either consult a professional car wash company for this or do it at home yourself. You want to pay special attention to wiper blades, windows, and the windscreen. You can also take some load off your car by removing excess baggage, such as any athletic equipment that’s lying around.
Ensure All Bulbs and Signals Are Working
There’s nothing more disappointing and terrifying than travelling at night only to find out your vehicle’s lights aren’t functional. Therefore, it’s mandatory to check all exterior and interior lights before heading out. You want to pay special attention to your headlights, brake light, and hazard lights since they ensure your safety. You also want to ensure your headlights are properly aligned — make sure to see a professional if they’re not.
Pack a Roadside Survival Kit
Going on a road tour is an exciting experience, but this doesn’t mean you should overlook the importance of being ready for the unknown. Sometimes, the weather stops you from driving further and at other times, you might find yourself in a survival situation because of a punctured tire. That’s where a roadside travel kit will help you. So before going on your road journey, pack a survival kit that contains necessary items like painkillers, clothing, non-perishable food, bottled water, a flashlight, and batteries. Moreover, jumper cables, a tire jack, a first aid kit, and an air pressure gauge are also important to carry.
Examine Car Fluids
Examining fluids and filters is another important way to ensure you complete your road trip without a hitch. For this purpose, check if your car’s engine needs an oil change, as old or deteriorating oil can affect the engine’s efficiency. You can find information like the type of oil your car needs and how frequently it should be changed in your car owner’s manual. You should also consider changing the coolant and washer fluid for a hassle-free ride. Next, pay heed to air filters and cabin filters as they provide clean air to the engine and let you breathe freely inside the vehicle, respectively. Replacing them as per the manufacturer’s instruction or changing them after every 15000 miles is a good idea.
Check the Battery
Your car’s battery provides the spark needed to start the engine. And any fault in it means the vehicle will not start or work properly. So before hitting the road, you should look for cracks and bulges in the battery and connect it with a multimeter to check its voltage. If the voltage drops below 12.6, then consider replacing the battery before you head out.
Learn to Fix Minor Vehicle Faults
Being on a road trip means you will not always have access to professional services if there’s a technical issue with your car. So, it’s suggested that before you kickstart your adventurous journey, learn to fix minor vehicle faults. You can start by learning how to replace a tire, inflate it, and adjust vehicle headlights.
Check the Brakes
Brakes are one of the most important safety features of your car, so you need to make sure they’re working properly. Before leaving on your road trip, you should have your brakes inspected by a professional. If the brake pads are worn out, have them replaced to ensure the safety of yourself and other motorists. You should also check the brake fluid level and top it up if necessary. Lastly, ensure the brakes are working smoothly and not making any strange noises.
A road trip is a fun-filled experience, and you can make it safe by following a few important tips. Start by checking fluids, examining tires, testing lights, and learning to fix minor faults. And don’t forget to get comprehensive car coverage and pack a roadside survival kit!