With the school holidays looming and the government encouraging us to ‘see Australia’ to kick-start the economy after Covid-19, here’s what you need to know about preparing your car for a long road trip.
After several weeks in lock down, most of us have been looking forward to a change of scenery. And with the mid-year school holidays upon us, it’s the perfect time for a road trip.
In fact, the research says that many Australians will take to the road at some point this year.
Many are buying caravans or motorhomes and embracing the idea of camping. Others are keen to just hop in the car and explore our great country, and now is a great time to do it, with so many overseas destinations still uncertain and foreigners staying away.
Whether you’re taking the whole family or flying solo, preparation is the secret to a successful road trip.
So, check your vehicle beforehand. Because it is no fun breaking down and having to wait for roadside assistance. And being stopped by police and fined for something like your lights not working properly is definitely going to be a downer.
But more than that, your safety and that of your passengers, is at stake. So there are a few things you should look over before you go, including:
- Fuel, oil and radiator coolant, and make sure the gauges are working.
- Tyres – check the inflation and the tread.
- Clean your car – especially the windscreen and make sure the wipers and washers are operating and cleaning correctly. Check your washer fluid.
- Check that the spare tyre is secured and in good condition
- Check under your vehicle for any obvious leaks
- Make sure all your lights and indicators are working
The easiest and most convenient way to do this by booking your car into a mechanic for a service or just a simple check up before you go. At Quickstart Mobile Mechanics, we come to you – so whether you’re at the office trying to get everything done so you can get out the door on time, relax and take time off, or even if you’re at home in the throes of packing.
Once you tell us your plans, we can make sure your car is ready to go. And then you’ll have peace of mind.
If you’re towing a trailer or caravan, make sure you understand your vehicle’s towing capacity and be sure to double-check the chains, couplings, sway bars, shackles, and lights. It’s important you know what you’re doing and both the Caravan Industry Australia and Australian Caravan Club Limited offer towing courses so you can get properly skilled up before you go.
Always pack your gear properly – make sure that items are secured. If you have to break suddenly, items can propel forward. And if you have extra sports equipment like bicycles or surfboards. Remember, if you are carrying bikes on a bike rack at the rear of your vehicle, your number plate needs to be visible, otherwise you are committing a traffic offence.
Heading off road
Australia has some vast open spaces, and help is not always readily available, so make sure you have a basic toolkit with you. There are many things to consider if you’re heading into the outback and it’s wise to do some research before you go. Talk to other travellers too, you’ll get their first-hand experience of the best places to see and things to do, and the pitfalls to avoid!
Seeking the snow
In Victoria and NSW, you are required to carry chains if heading into any of the alpine resort regions in the winter season and can be fined if you don’t fit them where directed.
There are other considerations too, when you’re on the icy roads, so make sure you’re well prepared for your destination.
- Make sure you have a torch and a first aid kit in case of any emergency.
- Carry your spare key – just in case.
- Make sure your insurance and your Roadside Assistance Cover are up to date in case you need them. Google is fantastic, but mobile phone coverage around Australia can be patchy. Find some printed maps and take them with you, just in case you need them.
- Always carry water to drink … and snacks. And be aware of your own energy levels. Fatigue is one of the top killers on our roads, so take regular breaks.
With the holidays only a couple of weeks away, your preparation starts now, so if you’d like Quickstart Mobile Mechanics to come to you, book an appointment or get a quote now, by contacting us.