Motoring

Holiday-drive checklist before setting off

It is important to prepare well for the trip, whether you're travelling for just a few hours or embarking on a long road trip with overnight stops.

ACCOMMODATION bookings have been confirmed, bags packed and the pet sitter arranged. The next thing to do before you set off for that long drive to your holiday destination is to check your car. Wherever you are going, you need to take some precautions before taking to the road. Here are some tips to drive safely and start your trip with no issues.

Check and clean your windscreen wipers
They are essential in case of heavy rain or to remove dirt. Grab a cloth and clean your windscreen wipers while checking for any wear, cracks on the rubber and other abnormalities.

Check the headlights
Headlights, indicators and rear lights need to be checked before any holiday departure. Their good working condition will enable other drivers to see you and also to keep you safe and to avoid fines. Ask a family member or a neighbour to help you check.

Also read: Planning to go on holiday? Here are 5 apps to add to your experience

Check the pressure and condition of the tyres
Tyre pressure needs to be checked before any long drive. It is recommended to check when it is cold so the heat does not affect the reading. Good tyre pressure will make you save fuel and minimise the wear of your tyres. Checking your tyre alignment and balance is important. In good auto maintenance practices, tyres should be checked every 5 000km.

Check the radiator
During summer, one of the reasons why the engine overheats is the radiator or a problem stemming from a fluid leak. When you stop your car, if you see a green, orange or yellow liquid under your car, it means there is a cooling liquid leak. You need to fix the problem before doing any long drive.

Check the timing and driving belt
Make sure this aspect is checked during your next visit. Changing a belt is not expensive, but repairing damage caused by a broken belt is. The belt must be checked by someone experienced every 75 000km to 130 000km, depending on your vehicle.

Check the brakes
These are essential for your safety and other drivers’ safety. When you brake, and you feel that your braking distances have increased and that when it is raining, it is even worse, have your car checked immediately. Usually, brakes should be checked every six months.

Check the battery
You can check it with a multimeter. The voltage should be between 12.5v for a 100% charge and 14.5v when the motor is running. A voltage of 12.0v is equal to a charge of 25%, meaning you should charge your battery.

Check your emergency equipment
First aid kit, spare tyres and tools must be in good condition. Also, check that all your papers are up-to-date, such as your car licence. If you have all of these checked, you can drive with peace of mind while feeling safe in your vehicle.

 

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