It’s safe to say the last two years have been incredibly challenging for Australians. Many of us have spent significant periods separated from family and loved ones.
Now that state and territory borders are open again, Easter is shaping up to be a massive weekend for travel. With four days off work, it’s the perfect time to hit the open road and spend time with those that matter most.
Before hopping in the car, make sure you’re well prepared for the journey with these handy tips.
Much like the human body, your vehicle relies on a combination of different fluids to run safely and efficiently. Before your road trip, make sure you check all levels and conditions of your car’s fluids are going to sustain a long journey. Essential fluids you should check include:
More than simply contributing to grip and safety, the condition of your car’s tyres also plays a part in fuel efficiency and overall comfort on the road.
When inspecting your tyres, it’s vital to ensure the PSI (pounds-per-square-inch) is within the recommended range. Too low, and it will increase your fuel consumption. Too high, and your drive quality will suffer. You can find the recommended PSI information on the placard or “tyre pressure chart” in your car’s owner’s manual. Many tyre manufacturers also have the recommended PSI written outside the tyre. Your PSI may also differ if you’re planning on going off-road during your trip. Plan ahead and make sure you have the equipment you need to pump up the tyres when you hit the road again.
Tyre tread depth is also an essential element to consider. Bald tyres offer little to no grip and present a significant safety concern no matter the driving conditions. Legally speaking, Australia’s minimum tyre tread depth is 1.6mm. Anything below that is considered unroadworthy and you could even be up for a fine or demerit points if caught driving.
Finally, ensure you have a spare tyre with the recommended PSI and the necessary tread depth. On your Easter getaway, the last thing you want is to suffer a flat tyre without a backup ready to go.
It’s vital to have the kid’s entertainment sorted but more importantly, you need to make sure your battery is in good health and your lights have enough juice for the journey.
To improve the health of your car battery, Battery World recommends cleaning the terminals with a wire brush and replacing them if they show any signs of corrosion. It’s also important to keep it topped up with distilled water. If you’re unsure how to test your battery’s voltage, Finder has some handy tips for using a battery tester which can be found in most automotive accessory stores or online.
It’s also essential to ensure all your lights are functioning correctly. They’re vital for safe driving, so make sure you test your headlights, brake lights, reverse lights, fog lights and indicators. Be sure to replace any blown or fading bulbs before starting your road trip and always carry spares.
Brakes are another element of your vehicle that should be checked and tested before departure. The first thing you should do is give them the sound test. If they’re grinding, squeaking, or squealing when engaged, visit your local service centre for a professional check over.
Brake pads wear away with use and are a huge safety risk when left on the brake discs for too long. It would help if you also gave your brake discs the eye test. Check for any surface rust or rust that is rough to touch. We recommend seeking professional help if rust is present and likewise if your brake pedal pulsates when slowing down.
We know only too well that things can change very quickly in Australia, especially when it comes to weather and road conditions.
Roadtrips often take you places you’ve never been before, but a certain element of risk comes with that. Before you head off on your weekend adventure, it might pay to have a re-think of your car insurance policy if you are not comprehensively covered.
Comprehensive car insurance can protect you from a raft of potential mishaps and disturbances, including damage to your vehicle, theft, fire, flood damage, and most importantly, damage to the driver and other passengers of the vehicle. Cover can differ from insurer to insurer, so make sure you do your research and compare the cover levels to ensure you are protected.
With all the care and safety checks taken care of, here are some logistical and entertainment tips to ensure your road trip is comfortable, fun, and free of disruption:
Remember to check the weather ahead of time and drive to the conditions. If it’s flooded, forget it!
Easter is a time for family, friends and loved ones. With these handy tips, you’ll be well prepared for a relaxing and enjoyable road trip with the whole family.
And remember to pack the chocolates, it’s Easter after all.
Happy Easter and safe driving!