Road trips through the vast landscape of Australia offer breathtaking scenery and adventure around every corner. However, embarking on a multi-day driving journey along dusty roads and rough terrain means your trusty vehicle will be tested. Proper preparation is key to ensure mechanical problems don’t threaten to cut your trip short. Whether exploring the iconic Twelve Apostles along the Great Ocean Road or traversing the isolated Northern Territory, following this pre-road trip vehicle safety checklist will help you entirely focus on enjoying the experience rather than stressing over your car’s readiness for remote routes.
Check Your Tires:
Examining your tires first ensures your car is good for long-distance driving. Ensure they have sufficient tread depth, and check for any visible damage or signs of wear. Properly inflated tires enhance fuel efficiency and contribute to better vehicle stability, especially on long stretches of Australian highways.
Inspect the Brakes:
Your safety on the road relies heavily on your car’s braking system. Before hitting the road, have your brakes inspected. Check the brake pads, rotors, and fluid levels. If you notice any unusual sounds or a decrease in braking efficiency, addressing these issues promptly is essential.
Fluid Levels Matter:
Keep your engine running smoothly by checking and topping up essential fluids. This includes engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid. Adequate levels ensure optimal performance and prevent potential breakdowns during your road trip.
Battery Health Check:
The last thing you want is a dead battery in the middle of nowhere. Inspect your car’s battery for any signs of corrosion or wear. If your battery is more than three years old, consider having it tested or replaced to avoid unexpected issues during your journey.
Lights and Signals:
Proper visibility is crucial, especially when driving in diverse Australian terrains. Test all your lights, including headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and hazard lights. Replace any faulty bulbs and ensure your lights are aligned correctly for maximum visibility during night drives.
Pack an Emergency Kit:
Australia’s vast and often remote landscapes mean that unexpected situations can arise. Prepare for the unexpected by packing an emergency kit. Include a first aid kit, flashlight, spare tire, jumper cables, and essential tools. It’s better to be over-prepared than caught off guard.
Cooling System Maintenance:
Australia’s climate can be demanding, and your car’s cooling system prevents overheating. Check the radiator, hoses, and coolant levels. If your coolant is old or shows signs of contamination, consider flushing and replacing it before your road trip.
Plan Regular Rest Stops:
Long drives across Australia can be tiring. Plan your route with regular rest stops to avoid driver fatigue. Take breaks, stretch your legs, and stay hydrated. In the heat of an Australian summer road trip, keeping your car stocked with necessities is essential. Remember to pack essential things to keep in your car in summer, such as sunscreen, a refillable water bottle, and a sunshade, to stay prepared for the heat and make the most of your travels.
Extra tip: Having a properly installed car seat is crucial if you’re travelling with kids. Professional car seat installation ensures your child’s safety in an accident. Preparing for this will ensure you can get a professional to fit your car seat before departing.
Travelling around Australia by car is an excellent way to experience the country’s diverse culture and natural beauty. But before you set out on your journey, ensure your vehicle is in top condition. No matter how good your car is, it’s always better to be safe before hitting the road. Check your owner’s manual for recommendations on performing a thorough safety check, or take it to a professional like Southern Cross car service for a complete check-up.
As you gear up for your exciting adventure on the open road, incorporating these safety tips for long road trips ensures a smooth journey and a memorable and worry-free travel experience. Safe travels!