Get your car in top trip condition

2015-12-15 06:00
 Make sure you do important car checks, including that the GPS is working, before you take to the road this summer.

Make sure you do important car checks, including that the GPS is working, before you take to the road this summer.

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There’s no time like summer holiday time to set off on a road trip with friends or family. In the spirit of road safety and a love for open road adventures, a nationwide battery retailer is encouraging South Africans to conduct important car checks before taking to the road this festive season.

With your car in top condition, you can ensure a smooth, safe trip to your destination, the retailer says.

Starting point

Firstly, pop the hood and check the vitals while the engine is cool. These include engine oil, brake fluid and water in the cooling systems. Get a petrol attendant to help if you’re unsure. Look out for irregularities like leaks; if any are apparent have the cause or reason sorted before driving the distance.

Maintain the charge

Ensure your car battery is in the best possible condition by visiting your nearest battery retailer for a battery and car electrical check. Should a new battery be needed, the best option for your specific needs will be advised before a quick and efficient battery replacement is made.

Read the rubberCheck whether the tyre tread on your wheels is within the safe limit. If it’s worn below the limit, it’s unsafe to drive and your tyres should be replaced. In South Africa the legal thread limit is 1mm.

Look out for uneven tread wear as this can indicate an alignment issue. Don’t forget to check tyre pressure. If you’re not sure what the optimum tyre pressure is for your wheels, look in your car’s user manual or the inside of the driver’s door. Remember to check your spare tyre, as you might need this along the way.

Swish, swish

It may be a fairly dry holiday in most parts of the country this year, with little rainfall predicted, but you should always be prepared for a downpour. Ensure your wipers are equipped to keep your windshield clear when it rains. Check the rubbers are still intact and not falling apart.

Smooth, quiet drive

Brakes, suspension, steering, shock absorbers and CV joints all affect your driving experience and safety. It’s a good idea to get a professional to conduct a full check of all these performance influencers for peace of mind throughout your trip.

Switched on

From windows, mirrors and lights to indicators and fuses, a check of all the electrical equipment is very important before heading out on the road.

Check for any malfunctions and be sure to replace or repair them in time for your trip. Carry extra bulbs in case of an emergency lighting issue.

The emergency kit

To avoid being caught off guard with no solutions at hand, do an audit of your toolbox for all necessary tools. You should have the following in your car: a reflective triangle, a torch and batteries, jumper cables, car jack, fire extinguisher, a wrench, rope, gloves, tape, screwdrivers, pliers and some rags for wiping your hands.

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