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A good road trip should have all the right elements of fun, freedom, and friends. It takes a bit of planning, and it’s quick to get caught up in all the exciting decisions, such as which route you’re going to take and which stops to make along the road.
When the day of departure arrives, and the bags are packed, your old friend is waiting in the garage – living off old oil, dirty filters and flat tyres. We have the checklist to keep you covered and make it a successful road trip in a comfortable car.
Run a test
Just because you use your car every day, doesn’t mean it will run smoothly throughout an entire holiday. Besides, you don’t focus too much on this when making a quick drive to the nearest grocer. Make a point out of doing a test drive a few days before you leave; listen for noises, rattling, and check if everything sounds as it should.
If the wheels grind or moan, the breaks scream, or the brake pedal feels soft when you step on it, you know it’s not ready for a longer trip quite yet. If you hear of feel something odd, find a good garage to make sure everything is in order before you leave – have a look at this article or visit www.ryanrepairs.com.au for an efficient and affordable one. You’ll thank yourself later when the rain is pouring down, and your car companions are tired and grumpy – the last thing on your mind should be car problems.
Oils and Fluids
It’s an obvious one; check the oil levels as well as when it’s due for a change. If it’s getting close to that date, you better change it now before a long trip – so that both you and your car can breathe more easily. The other fluids should also be checked, such as transmission fluids.
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Check the owner’s manual on when this should be changed, and take it in if it’s time. If you want everything to run smoothly on or off the road, this is your number one thing to check.
Brakes and Battery
If the brake fluids have turned into the yellow color of maple syrup, it means it’s old and might rust the components in your brake system. See to that it’s topped up as well, all the way up to the mark. With your car full of family or friends, it’s important to make sure every part of your brake system is in order. Give it a good flush, especially if you haven’t had one in a couple of years – if unsure, check the owner’s manual for how often it should be flushed. Check out www.familyhandyman.com for a more comprehensive guide.
The same goes for your car battery; if it’s a few years old, you should check that its terminals are corrosion-free as well as ensuring that the negative and positive leads are tight. Get the DIY to it here, or simply take it in for a check.
Don’t let a mistake like this ruin your trip; your car is, after all, your mode of transport on a road trip and should be your top priority. That way, you don’t have to deal with a struggling vehicle in the middle of the journey or insurance that doesn’t cover you – if something does happen.