What to Check Before your Summer Road Trip?

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AutoTrader NZ
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Published 2 February 2021

The last place you want to end up on your summer road trip is broken down with no reception to get help. Below is a simple Summer road trip checklist to make sure the main components of your car are in working condition, so you are ready to hit the road and enjoy a worry free getaway.

  1. First of all a basic oil check is important, you want to see it at the right level and the right colour. If your oil level is higher than the full line on your dipstick it may mean you have too much oil in your sump or you may have water in your oil. If it is too low you will need to top it up and make sure you bring some oil with you on your trip. Also check the clarity of the oil if it is very dark then you may need an oil change. Check out our basic guide to checking your oil. 
  1. Basic battery check is very important. You can either take your car to a local garage, battery store or service centre for a (often free) basic battery check or buy a multimeter and do it yourself. The charge should be around 12.5 volts. Check out our car battery test guide for more information. 
  1. Check your fluids, this includes windscreen washer fluid, coolant, transmission and brake fluids. Make sure they are all at the right level and there is no discoloration, if they are low there could be a leak in the system which could get worse out on the open road. Check out our fluids guide for more information.
  1. Check your tyres by viewing our basic car tyre wear check guide, but some common things to look for are any unusual wear, bubbling of the side walls or steel wires poking out can be clear signs that they need to be replaced before your trip. Also, it is wise to check your tyre pressures regularly at a local petrol station to improve your fuel efficiency and safety when on the open road. The correct pressure should be located on either the drivers or passengers door sill, make sure your tyre size corresponds with what’s on your pressure guide. Check out our tyre pressure guide for more information.
  1. Check your lights, get someone to walk around your car and check turn signals, high and low beams, fog lights and brake lights. High beams are especially important to check as a lot of people don’t use them around town and can get caught out on the open road with no street lights around.

Following these steps should highlight some common problems that could leave you stranded this Summer, but it is still always best to service your vehicle regularly. That way, you can enjoy that holiday away with peace of mind, leaving traffic to be your only worry. Be aware your garage might be busy this time of year, so allow plenty of time before your trip to get things sorted especially if parts are needed.

Stay safe on the roads this Summer!