We’re close to the end of 2015 and this means the holiday season is nearly here. If you plan on driving anywhere it’s important that your car is safe and roadworthy. GetMore brings you ten top tips to get your car ready for the road.
The easiest way for you to ensure your vehicle checked is to have it serviced. While an experienced mechanic will fix any major problems that need to be repaired, it’s also up to you to make sure your vehicle is safe to drive.
- VEHICLE LICENCE
Roadblocks are more frequent in the holiday season, so avoid fines by checking that your car licence disc and driver’s licence are both up to date. If you have to renew a licence, remember that you have to provide proof of address.
All of your tyres – including the spare – need to have enough tread and must be properly inflated, as this helps prevent blowouts and saves on fuel costs. If you have lots of luggage, add a little extra pressure to compensate for the extra weight. Wheels must be correctly aligned otherwise you get uneven wear.
Top up all the fluid levels such as oil, brake fluid, coolant levels, power steering transmission, and the water to wash your windscreens. It’s also advisable to change your oil if this has not been done recently.
The lights for your vehicle – both inside and outside – all need to be working. This includes fog lights, indicators, reverse lights and trailer lights if you’re towing one. Check headlights and ensure they are aimed correctly to increase visibility. If any warning lights are on, take your vehicle to be serviced.
A dead battery will prevent you from starting your car, leaving you stranded far from home. While the average battery lasts between 3-5 years, it’s a good idea to get it checked before you leave.
Your brakes always need to be working optimally, but this is even more important when you’re travelling with your family and on roads with increased traffic. Brake pads, lines and discs must be checked to guarantee that they are working properly.
- WINDSHIELD AND WIPERS
Replace your windscreen if it’s cracked and get new wipers (front and back) if your current ones are old or worn. If you’re driving through rain or dusty conditions you want wipers working efficiently, to see where you are going. Before you leave, wash your vehicle so you can clearly see out of all the windows.
- SAFETY BELTS
Every passenger in your vehicle needs to be strapped into their seatbelt, so check that all of the safety belts are working. For young children, it’s essential that they are kept safe in an appropriate car seat.
- GPS OR MAP
Know where you are going by either plotting your route on a map, or GPS. This will prevent you getting lost or having arguments about directions! It’s also important that you know where you will stop to refuel and where your passengers (especially kids) can get out and stretch their legs.
- EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT
In case you breakdown or have an emergency, keep the following items in the boot of your car: water, a first-aid kit, non-perishable items of food, a blanket and a flashlight with extra batteries. Also, include a petrol container, reflective triangles, a jack, jumper cables, flares, a rope, a canister of tyre inflator and basic tools.
You don’t want to be stuck on the side of the road in the December heat, when you could be relaxing on the beach or in the bush. Get your car in tip-top shape so you and your family arrive safely at your destination.
As a GetMore member you have roadside assistance, which means that we will help you in an emergency situation, whether it’s during the day or night. Simply call us on 084 11 438 48 – we’ll never leave you stranded!