Hit the road with confidence: Your pre-holiday vehicle checklist

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With the holiday season just around the corner, many of us are gearing up for memorable road trips or you may be doing some longer trips to visit the Rello’s.

Before you embark on your journey, it’s crucial to ensure that your vehicle is ready for the adventure. Here’s a comprehensive pre-holiday vehicle checklist to make sure your road trip is memorable for all the right reasons.

Three weeks before the trip

1. Pre-trip checks to give you time to rectify any problems.

Check your service sticker affixed to the top right of your windscreen – is your car due for a service? Is it due on kilometres or time, if you’ve reached one of these then it’s due. Have a quick check of your tyres, are they on the wear indicators, in need of air, cracked or wearing unevenly? Nothing says your car is road trip ready like a check over from a qualified mechanic. Do you have roadside assistance, check it is current? Have your member number stored in your phone.

2. Learn to change a tyre.

It’s a good opportunity to check your spare tyre and that the equipment to change the tyre is there. You may like to add a pair of gloves and an old towel to kneel on. Unfortunately, a flat tyre happens when we least expect it. Having roadside assistance is handy, but if it’s something you can easily fix in under 15 minutes it’s certainly better to gain that skill than wait around for six hours. Ask a family member or friend for help or check your manual and have a test run of changing a tyre to build confidence.

3. Air conditioning.

If you want your journey to be cool, then take note of your air-conditioning. Is it as strong as it used to be, is it still nice and cool, does it stop and start? We are qualified to repair, regas and inspect your air-conditioning system. You want your journey to be a cool one, particularly during summer. Keep in mind that if you are travelling at a speed of more than 90km/hr, it’s actually more economical to have your air-conditioning on.

4. Prepare for an emergency.

Make sure you have everything you may need in case of an emergency. Do you know what to do in case of an accident? Do you have a first aid kit? Having some spare water, a torch and some museli bars might be a life saver in the case of a breakdown or any other delays you may experience on a trip.

Three days before your trip

5. Check your oil, your tyres inflation, your coolant reservoir, your wiper blades, your lights, top up your wiper fluid and clean the inside of your windscreen.

The day before

6. Set for a start.

Don’t drive when sick or tired. Try and have an early night the day before departure. Avoid driving when you’d normally be sleeping. Share the driving or stop more often if you’re driving solo.

7. Weather watch.

Check the weather forecast along your route. Heed warnings for severe weather, is it wise to travel or maybe select a different route? Weather can affect the conditions and state of the road, you may need extra time or preparations especially if you are towing a trailer, van or boat. To be aware of changing conditions or delays you can have your passenger regularly check the Live Traffic app or check it when you stop for a break.

8. Comfort is cool.

The car’s cabin is your cockpit, make sure everything is within reach – tissues, sunnies, water bottle and snacks. Got kids – organise some games, movies or have a look at FuelBox for families to fuel meaningful or entertaining conversations. Consider getting your playlist sorted and add some podcasts or an audio book for variety. Make sure you have hands free connection for your phone and a charger cable handy. Keep the car cool to help you stay alert, wear comfy clothing and shoes that fit well with good grip.

9. Pack smart.

All cars have a recommended load weight, check the owners manual for the recommended carry load. The easiest way to pack is to first empty your car of anything you may not need – hello shopping bags! The importance of not overloading your vehicle is often overlooked. It can place enormous stress on your tyres and suspension. The vehicle may also handle differently making it more difficult to drive and will use more fuel.

10. Better safe than sorry.

Be mindful of fatigue symptoms – yawning, tired eyes boredom and loss of concentration. Stop every two hours and take advantage of driver reviver stops for a cuppa and a chat with other travellers.
If you need a service before your next road trip, just contact the team at Angus Car Service.

Aaron Hills, Angus Car Service
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