Car trips in Australia can be long and laborious for the driver. They are also tough on cars when you travel between states, especially when it is hot outside. A full car service should be maintained every year for all vehicles to remain roadworthy. In addition, you should conduct some maintenance yourself once in a while, particularly when you are planning a longer than usual road trip. What do you need to consider?
Modern cars are so efficient with their use of oil that you may never have topped yours off before. However, it is worth confirming the level is correct before you notice the dashboard light coming on midway through your inter-state trip. Do so when the engine is cool by removing the dipstick and wiping it. Now replace it fully and pull it out once more. The level of the oil should be between the two notches on your dipstick. If the oil is not at that level, then add oil as need.
All car tyres lose pressure over time and you should pump them up every few thousand miles or ahead of a particularly long journey. Just look in your vehicle's user manual for the correct level of pressure for each of the tyres Reinflate them to that level when you next stop for fuel. Under-inflated tyres will make your car run inefficiently as they produce more resistance against the tarmac. Furthermore, they will stop you from braking as quickly as you should when you need to.
One of the most important safety systems of any car is its lighting, without which it is dangerous to drive, even if you don't intend on doing so at night. Therefore, you must confirm that electricity is being supplied to all of your car's lamps before setting out on the road. Don't just check your headlamps in their dipped, sidelight and main beam positions. You must also ensure that your indicator lights, fog lamp and reversing lights work. In addition, your brake lights must also come on when you press the corresponding pedal. Such a series of checks only takes a minute or two but could save lives.
The air-conditioning of a car is not just there for comfort, but will also make you feel safe when driving long distances in the sun. If your air-con has lost pressure or has become blocked, then you will be sweating as you drive which, in turn, will diminish your ability to concentrate for long periods of time as well as your ability to remain calm in traffic. In short, you ought to ensure your car's air-conditioning is fully working before undertaking a long road trip so you arrive feeling fresh and – more importantly – in one piece.