As the festive season approaches and families planning on going on their long-awaited holidays, this means millions of South African motorists will take to the highways to get to their favourite holiday destinations.
However, before you set off anywhere, it’s vital that you prepare your vehicle by giving it a thorough once-over, ensuring that all systems are in good working order and that often overlooked elements like tyre pressure and water levels are checked.
By taking some time to double check your car’s roadworthiness before setting off, you could save yourself plenty of hassle and heartache this holiday season.
Here’s a handy holiday checklist to keep on hand this festive season:
Check everything under the hood
Some of the best car advice for your trip is to check absolutely everything under the hood of your car. If you are planning a road trip, South Africa is one of the most beautiful places you can do it, so avoid missing out on the eye-pleasing fun by doing a thorough inspection.
Opening the hood, the main things to check for is whether there are any holes and if your battery terminals are spotless. Make sure to check your drive belt – in the event that it looks worn or in the event that you can see breaks, get it replaced.
Change your wipers
Yes, although it may be summer, it’s probably going to rain or at least drizzle at some point. Worn wipers not only create nasty streaks across the windshield but can also affect your vision while driving.
Replacing them doesn’t cost much and is not a fiddly operation – request a quotation now!
If you’re in the habit of taking your car in for oil changes, our specialists will check your wipers, too.
Mirrors, Windows and Lights
All road safety tips include a check of all your electrical equipment. This includes all your lights and fuses. If you are towing something, make sure to check your lights a couple of days before you set off on a trip as this will give you enough time to replace fuses and bulbs where necessary.
It’s also a good idea to carry extra bulbs and fuses with you. If a bulb or fuse does happen to go during your trip, finding the right ones won’t be such a hassle.
Also, remember to check all your mirrors and windows. Should there be a crack or an electrical malfunction on the windows, you have enough time to fix it and prevent a major irritation during your journey. – See why the kinds of dangers of a damaged windscreen can do.
Having tyres with a good tread wear is vital when it comes to road safety. In South Africa, according to Regulation 212 of the National Road Traffic Act, you are not allowed to equip your vehicle with regrooved tyres that have a bead diameter of 430 millimeters or less. According to our laws, your tyres must have at least 1-millimeter thread. Should your tyres not meet this standard, you do risk receiving hefty fines.
You will notice that some tyres do have tread wear indicators (in the tread patterns) showing you when the tread wear reaches under 1.6 millimeters. If your tyres reach below these tread indicators, they are not roadworthy and you should replace them.
Aside from having a good tread wear, it is also important for the sidewalls of your tyres to be in good condition. Remember that the correct tyre pressure also plays a role in your tyre’s road holding and lifespan, so check this regularly.
Don’t forget to check your wheel alignment and your spare tyre.
Suspension and Steering
When it comes to your road trip checklist, remember to always check your brakes, suspension, steering and all the other drivetrain components of your vehicle. This includes a check of everything – from your CV joints and shock absorbers to your breaks.
Making sure that your drivetrain and all of its components are in good shape before leaving for your trip is one of the best road safety tips we can give you. Doing these checks will help to give you peace of mind and ensures that nothing big breaks on your journey.
If you don’t have a lot of experience in car maintenance, remember that you can always get some car advice from Eagle Glass.
For all your car check-ups before you hit the road this festive season, visit any of our shops in Nelspruit or call us now at 013 757 0311.