With states across our amazing country opening up again, Australian’s have started to look at ways to make up for lost time by getting out, hitting the road and enjoying the many sites to see right in our own backyard.
Just in time for summer, road trips are becoming the go-to activity as they offer an easy and accessible way to rediscover the outdoors and explore. But before you pack your bags and leave your home, just make sure that your car is as up for the adventure as you are. Here are a few tips on how to prepare your car for a road trip.
Prepping for a stress-free summer drive
While the iconic Australian summer sun is lovely to bask in and enjoy, the temperatures can be just as destructive to vehicles as the winter.
Extreme heat is known to cause:
- Engine overheating
- Broken air conditioning
- Low tire pressure
- Fuel and oil leaks
- Weak battery charge
- Expanded windshield and glass cracks
- Brake issues
However, this shouldn’t hold you back from your summer road trip. You just need to take the right precautions beforehand.
So, before heading to the highway, you can start by doing a routine car check-up. To help, we’ve compiled a simple list of ways to help prepare your car before you embark on your journey this summer, so you can minimise your chances of finding yourself frustrated, inconvenienced or even stranded.
5 car safety checks to make before a road trip
1. Check your battery
Imagine driving across Australia and your battery just dies. To make matters worse, the next town may be kilometres away. To avoid this scenario, it’s a smart idea to check your car battery before you set out. Are your headlights dimmer than before? Does your engine start but die immediately? Is your battery over 3-4 years old? Can you hear a low cranking when you start the car? If any of these are the case, then it may be time for a replacement. Get a professional mechanic to help you out with this.
2. Test the Air Con
When it’s hot, we like to be cool. Windows down with the wind in your hair is part of the road trip fun. However, the sweltering summer heat may have you rolling the windows up and putting the air conditioning on full blast. The last thing you want is for that to fail!
If you don’t clean or replace your air filter, or you’re finding that your system is struggling to keep up, you could expect a warm and uncomfortable trip ahead. If you’re not too familiar with what to do, it helps to consult a professional mechanic.
3. Inspect your engine
As a driver, if you notice your car is producing an unusual sound when you start it or it feels heavy when you drive, don’t ignore the signs. You might find that your dashboard is displaying some warning lights so have it looked at straight away.
Things might be obvious if you open the bonnet. Have a look around the engine and see if anything looks odd or out of place. If you’re not sure, have a professional look at it.
And before taking off on a road trip you should check your oil levels to make sure your engine is well lubricated, your coolant so your radiator doesn’t overheat, and your water level for your windscreen wipers should you need them in adverse weather or just to clean the dirt off your windscreen.
4. Repair a chipped or cracked windscreen and any side windows or rear glass
A chip in your windscreen is often a seemingly tiny problem you want to push to the back of your mind. You know you have to repair it, but you may delay fixing it because it seems too trivial.
However, ignoring a windscreen chip could lead to it cracking, causing more problems for you later. So, take the time to examine your vehicle glass beforehand. Fixing a chip before it cracks is faster, cheaper and greener. So don’t wait.
If you need a professional to look at your vehicle’s glass surfaces, O'Brien® offers a vehicle glass repair and replacement service, with an approved repairer network that covers 987% of Australia’s population and is contactable 24/7.
5. Test your tyres
Balding tyres can be dangerous – they lack traction and make it hard to brake. In addition, high pressure from high road temperatures can also cause changes in your tyres. To avoid accidents, conduct a visual inspection for tread wear, especially uneven wear, and replace tyres when they don’t serve their purpose anymore.
You also should check your tyre pressure regularly to see if they have enough air. Simply use a tyre pressure gauge which tends to be freely available at many service stations across the country.
Safety: a road frequently travelled
This checklist is a good start to preparing your car for wherever you want to head off for your summer road trip. However, even well-prepared explorers seek help from professionals.
Just remember, no matter where you are in Australia, you can call O'Brien® to have your vehicle glass repaired or replaced. We can fix your problem in one of our nationwide branches or Authorised Dealer partners located across Australia, or our mobile technicians can also come to you.
That way, if a chip or a crack threatens your road trip, you can have it sorted and be back on the road in no time.
Make it a summer to remember with O'Brien®
Whether you’re preparing for a trip or just having a regular car check-up, O'Brien® knows how to help make your journey safe and memorable. With over 95 years of experience, our quality service makes us Australia’s leading vehicle glass repair and replacement company.
We understand our clients more than anyone else. So, feel free to start your road trip with a visit to a nearby O'Brien® branch for your vehicle glass solutions.