Are you itching for a grand Aussie road trip adventure but wondering how to ensure your car’s up to the task? You’re in the right spot.
Here at Sutherland Automotive, we understand the thrill of the open road, and we want to ensure that thrill doesn’t turn into an unexpected pit stop. That’s why we’ve put together some of our top tips to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable drive, so you can limit any problems.
Are Long Road Trips Tough on Cars?
First things first, a question we often hear at Sutherland Automotive is, “Are long road trips really that hard on cars?” The good news is, generally, they aren’t. But like a good camping trip, it’s all about the preparation.
Now, before we drive straight into the guide, let’s ensure you’re equipped with the basics. If you’re a beginner, our blog post on a Car Maintenance Checklist is a great place to start.
Your Quick and Easy Road Trip Preparation Guide
1. Organise your belongings efficiently
We highly recommend keeping the heaviest gear low and in the boot. You may not realise it, but a low centre of gravity equals better stability.
Do you drive a SUV or 4WD? Always make sure to secure any and all heavy objects inside and outside your vehicle. The last thing you need is a rogue esky on a sudden brake or you find out your bikes are tied loosely.
Tidy and secure your roof racks! Overloading your roof racks can lead to potential risks on the road and affect aerodynamics. This could influence the amount of petrol being consumed by your vehicle due to the increased weight and reduction in top performance.
2. Always check your car fluids
Your car’s fluids, such as the engine oil and coolant, are essential for all types of travel. You can think of them as the hydration for your vehicle. We have a recent article about Recognising Common Fluid Leaks to ensure you are better equipped to understand your vehicle.
3. Investigate your wipers and clear the view
Your wipers do more than just swipe away rain; they tackle dust and bugs too! Ensure they’re in tip-top shape by inspecting them. If you notice the material is deteriorating, we highly recommend getting a new set. You can purchase these at any local auto shop, or visit Sutherland Automotive.
4. Check the pressure and quality of your car’s tyres
Are you noticing bald car tyres? It’s a big no-no, especially for high-speed drives and during the colder, rainy seasons. Ensure your tyres have adequate tread depth and look out for any sidewall damages. If you’re unsure, we’re always here to help out.
5. Get your car’s battery tested
We often don’t realise there are so many moving parts to keep a car operating. As the main driver of your vehicle, you may be able to identify if starting up sounds like a struggle, it might be your battery waving a white flag. Before it gives up entirely, get it tested by a professional as you may be due for a replacement.
6. Do your light checks
From headlights to brake lights, all lights should be in prime condition. Check the front, back and sides of your car to ensure all your lights are functioning properly. Even when you’re not going for a long road trip, you should do this regularly to ensure maximum safety on the road.
7. Consider renting a vehicle instead
If you’re hesitant about putting your beloved car through the mileage, consider a rental. It’s like hiring a packhorse for a challenging trek.
By hiring a vehicle from a reputable company, you can feel relaxed knowing they are regularly serviced and checked before being rented out.
8. Plan your drive ahead
You should familiarise yourself with the various routes for reaching your destination. You never know when you need to take an alternate route, or in case you want to drive through a scenic view, so it’s always best to study the map to your designated location.
9. Stay alert on the road and be ready for anything
From first aid kits to emergency apps, being prepared is key. Let other people close to you know you are going away. Whether it’s your family, friends, or workplace, it’s reassuring for someone to know where and how long you will be away.
10. The Human Element – You
As the designated driver, we cannot stress how important it is to take regular breaks on long drives. Remember, a restful driver is a safer driver. If there are other legal drivers travelling you with, try and organise scheduled driving times to maximise everyone’s health and well-being.
Wrapping Up Our Road Trip Guide
Embarking on a long road trip is thrilling. With a well-prepared car and driver, you’re not only setting yourself up for an amazing journey but also ensuring you and your car return home in top shape. Follow our 10 tips to keep everyone safe and happy.
For any questions, or if you need hands-on help preparing for your trip, don’t hesitate to pop by Sutherland Automotive. We’re available to inspect your vehicle to ensure your drive is enjoyable.