Read our checklist to know more

Hitting the road with family for a well-deserved break is nothing short of an adventure. While going away with family always results in memorable experiences, planning for the trip can be a daunting task. From arranging accommodation and activities that will keep the kids busy, to ensuring the essential medical supplies have been packed, there’s a lot that needs to be organised, leaving much room for slip-ups. One of these is forgetting to check if your car is road-trip ready.

Car issues whilst on a road trip can add delays to your itinerary. Or worse still, leave you stranded with a vehicle that won’t start up. The chances of your car breaking down whilst cruising down a coastal road with your kids in tow are real, and it’s important to plan ahead so your holiday doesn’t turn into an unpleasant memory instead.

But that’s no reason to avoid road trips completely. A little planning and organisation goes a long way in ensuring your car doesn’t give up on you as you travel across the country. Here’s a handy checklist you can use to ensure your car is road trip ready:

1. Have your car serviced before the trip
This is the most important step. Getting your car serviced before you travel ensures a professional mechanic has assessed its health and performance, flagging any potential issues and having them fixed for you. A basic car servicing checkup should suffice since it will help ascertain if your car is ready for a long distance trip.

For Melbourne owners of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Volkswagen vehicles, Ammstar Autohaus deliver peerless car servicing at the best possible price. With close to two decades of experience specialising in European cars, you can rest assured your vehicle will be in the best hands possible, and that you and your family will enjoy a stress-free road trip.

2. Clean your windscreen
Your windscreen needs to be clear on the inside and the outside so your vision isn’t disrupted. This is especially important when you’re driving long distance during the winter, with rains, fog, mist and dust clouding your vision.

3. Check if all lights work properly
It’s hard to determine if all your lights work whilst inside the car, but this is a safety essential. You should get a passenger to stand outside your car as you switch the lights on and have them inspect the headlights, brake lights, indicators and high beams for any malfunctions that need to be fixed.

4. Check the battery, tires and fluids
More often than not, your car fails because of an unresolved battery issue. Make sure your battery is strong and that its terminals are clean. If not, do a quick clean up with a little baking soda and water.

Check the car owner manual so you know what the recommended tire pressure is, and set your tires up accordingly. You also need to examine your tires to look out for any tears or bulges in its side wall, and to ensure they have adequate tread left in them.

Lastly, check the levels of different fluids in your car. This includes transmission, engine oil, coolants, brake oil, power steering and water.

5. Be a smart packer
Make use of maps and GPS for navigation, ideally looking at routes before you set off. And pack a small kit comprising basic emergency items for your car: tyre changing kit, jumper cables, water, a thick cloth and a torch. And a first aid kit, to take care of any mishaps.

6. Practice using the car’s cruise control
You don’t want to be caught unawares, so it’s good to test the cruise control beforehand for a more relaxing trip.

7. Ensure you sleep well and take frequent breaks
You must be well rested before you embark on a long drive, in addition to taking breaks through the journey. This will ensure you remain alert and energised while you take the wheel.

8. Drive safe
Avoid speeding or driving rashly, especially since you’re travelling with family. Consider the conditions, and don’t hesitate to slow down on wet or gravel roads. A safe trip is a happy trip.

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