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Road trip car safety checks

Road trip car checks

NRMA motoring shares some tips on how to get your car ready for its next road trip.

There is no better time to check your car's vitals than before a big trip, especially if the car stays in the garage or only does short commutes for most of the year.

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Longer trips at higher speeds put much more strain on your vehicle's mechanicals, and problems that might not be evident around town can soon become an issue out on the freeway. Our checklist can help reduce the chances of those problems occurring.

  • If your car is close to requiring a service, book it in well before you plan to go. This will leave time to source parts and make the repairs.

  • If it's between services, look under the bonnet and check your oil, water and brake fluid. The owner's handbook will show you how.

  • If you have been topping up the fluids regularly (especially coolant) when most of your driving is around town, now is the time to get it checked.

  • Check tyre pressure – use the tyre placard fitted to your car or in the owner's handbook to find the correct pressure. Most tyre shops are happy to advise you, as well.

  • Inflate the tyres to the maximum loaded recommendation if you're going to carry a full complement of passengers and luggage.

  • Check your spare tyre and make sure that the tyre-changing kit is still in place.

  • Check the tyre's tread depth and if they are close to the wear limiters consider replacements. Some tyre sizes are harder to find in country areas and you don't want to be stuck waiting for a replacement.

  • Clean that windscreen – it's important if you are going to be driving at night. Add some screen cleaner when you top up your washer bottle. (Don't use dishwashing detergent – some can affect spray operation.)

  • Check your lights, especially your headlamps and high beam.

  • And remember to check that your car and all its drivers are covered by NRMA Roadside Assistance. If your car is a 4WD or large SUV, consider upgrading to Premium Plus which provides additional towing allowances.

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