Taking a holiday road trip with the family can be fun and it is less expensive than travelling out of the country or flying to another city. However, your car needs to be prepared to take a road trip or you could find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere. Here are five tips for preparing your vehicle for a family road trip.
Have Fluids Changed
Before hitting the open road, you need to have the fluids checked or changed for the engine, brakes, and the transmission. Since oil should be changed every three months, go ahead and have your mechanic drain and change all the fluids. While they are changing the fluids, they will also check the hoses, the battery cables and add or top off coolant to ensure your car won’t overheat and the air conditioner will keep everyone comfortable if it’s hot outside.
Check or Change Tyres
After the engine, the second most important part of your car when travelling are the tyres. Your regular mechanic can check the tyres or you can go to a tyre shop if you think the car will need new tyres. The tread of the tyres will be examined to make sure it is within acceptable ranges, the wear of the tyres will be checked and, if the tyres are suitable, they can be aired up so they are the proper pressure. Having the tyres checked will help avoid blowouts while driving, as well as hydroplaning if it rains hard while you’re driving.
Consider a Tune-up
If it’s been awhile since the spark plugs were changed, consider getting the car tuned up before leaving on a road trip. This type of car servicing in Canberra can ensure the engine keeps running smoothly throughout the trip and help it run more efficiently. A car with new spark plugs and the tyres at the proper pressure will be more fuel efficient, so you can save money when filling your tank and go further before needing to fill it again.
Take Plenty of Water
If you’re travelling during the summer, especially in the Outback, make sure you have water for everyone in the car and for the car itself. Travel with about two gallons per person per day and enough to fill the car in case it overheats. However, if you’ve had the coolant checked and filled, then your car should be able to survive the heat, especially if you spend most of the time driving when the sun is setting and during the cooler evening hours.
Use GPS and Map
Although most GPS systems are accurate, it doesn’t hurt to use a map to plan your main and secondary routes in case of bad weather. A GPS system will usually not have updates about road construction, so you may not be aware of any until you come across it while on the road. If your phone has GPS, make sure you carry a car charger.
Using these five tips will make your family road trip safer and more enjoyable.