Get Your Car Ready for a Road Trip

December, 2020

Are you planning to go away on a road trip during the upcoming holidays? Whether you are taking the family on an adventure or braving it solo, the last thing you want is to be stuck on the side of the road waiting for a tow.

Preparation is key to a successful road trip. You don’t want to be running around trying to fix your vehicle right when you are supposed to be leaving, or lost down a dirt road with no fuel. Below we will guide you through how to get your car road trip ready!

Plan your trip

Make sure you plan the route you will be driving before you take off in your car. It is best that you pre-plan regular intervals to stop and refresh so you aren’t driving tired, and when and where you can fill up with fuel so you make it to your destination.

Tyres

Tyre failure can increase your chances of an incident or collision which is the last thing you want whilst on holidays! If you need new tyres before you set off, get a quote at John Hughes Tyres today. There are a couple of key things to check your tyres for:

  • Tread – Check the tread wear indicators and make sure you have plenty of tread left on your tyres. Anything under 1.5mm in depth is unroadworthy and needs to be replaced. If you don’t have enough tread it increases the risk of losing grip of the road.
  • Pressure – Tyre pressure is often neglected but it is important that your tyres are not under or over inflated as it can cause uneven wear, poor fuel economy and destroy safety. Check your vehicle logbook or tyre placard for the manufacture tyre pressure specifications.
  • Damage – Have a visual check of your tyres for any damage such as nail punctures, gouges or bulges in the sidewalls. Don’t forget to check your spare!
Tyre safety

Brakes

You will want your brakes to be in good working order, especially if you are towing a heavy caravan or boat on your trip.
If you can hear your brakes squeak or grind, feel spongey or if you can feel a shudder through the pedal then they need to be checked. You could need new brake pads, brake fluid or rotors.

Electrical

Check all electrical items on your vehicle such as dash warning lights, battery life and air-conditioning. A battery’s life cycle tends to be about three years. If your vehicle’s battery is on the out, you will be able to tell by a slow crank when you start the car. And you wouldn’t want to be stranded under the hot Australian sun without air-conditioning. If you need a new battery or air-con service - John Hughes can help!

Battery

Wipers

Wipers aren’t the first thing you would think about checking when heading off on a road trip but bugs are bound to build up on your windscreen and if your wipers are not in good condition, they can leave smears which disrupts your vision while driving.

Fluids & Lubricants

Best practice in maintaining your vehicle is to have regular engine oil and filter changes, top up your coolant and wiper fluids. It is best to have your car serviced before you go away on a road trip which will ensure you have the right level of clean fluids and lubricants. Book your car in for a service at John Hughes Service Centre today.

Towing capacity

If you are towing a caravan or camper trailer, make sure you are travelling within your vehicles towing capacity. Overloading your vehicle is illegal and dangerous. Educate yourself on important terms such as Gross Vehicle Mass, Gross Combination Mass, Kerb weight and Tow Bar Download.

Towing capacity

Essential tools

It is a good idea to keep a few essential tools in your car to help you out of sticky situations. Items to consider are:

  • Socket set
  • Screwdrivers
  • Jump pack
  • Snatch strap
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Torch
  • Electrical tape
  • Air compressor

Keep kids entertained

“Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” You do not want your kids to be bored 5 minutes into a 5 hours road trip. Make sure you pack plenty to keep them entertained such as; iPad or DVD player, books, pencils and snacks!
Plan regular stops so the little ones and stretch and burn some energy before setting off again.

Keep kids entertained

Now you are ready to jump in the car and head off on the road trip of a lifetime!