The long weekend is around the corner, and we’re counting down the days for that trip away for some much-needed rest and relaxation.
While you’re planning your accommodation and what to pack, don’t forget to make sure your vehicle is well maintained, safe and road worthy. A poorly maintained vehicle is more than just a frustration, it’s a danger on the road. A quick professional vehicle safety check prior to your trip could help save lives on the road this holiday season.
“While human error is the biggest cause of car accidents on the road, badly maintained vehicles also make a large contribution to the national road toll every year,” says Hugo Grobler, National Franchise Manager at Auto Care & Diagnostics (ACD). “Taking the time to properly prepare your vehicle for long distance travel will not only make your trip more pleasurable, but a car in optimum condition saves lives.”
These are some of the things you should have checked to make for a safe and enjoyable journey to your holiday destination:
A long-distance trip can feel never-ending, especially with small children constantly repeating the dreaded question, “Are we there yet?”. A well-ventilated car can at least offer some relief so make sure your air conditioner has been checked and is working perfectly.
A dead battery, faulty starter or alternator could leave you stranded, not only causing an unnecessary delay in your journey, but also potentially a security hazard. A problem with one of these electrical components could be a symptom that your car’s electrical system is problematic. It’s important to check your vehicle at an experienced workshop that uses advanced electrical diagnostic equipment to get your car on the road and keep it there.
Your car’s brakes are a critical safety item and regular maintenance of your brakes is a non-negotiable. Always keep a safe following distance, as possible brake failure due to worn components can be dangerous and the consequences, dire. Always have your brake pads checked, if your brakes sound like they’re squeaking and scratchy or they’re shuddering, get them changed immediately!
Tyre maintenance and alignment
Making sure that your tyre pressure, tread and wheel alignment is correct is not only critical for road safety; approximately 20 % of fuel goes towards overcoming friction between the car and the road. Have your tyres checked to help prevent unnecessary spending at the pumps with the fuel price rising yet again just in time for the holidays.
Regular and major car services
Regular maintenance ensures the longevity of the major components of your vehicle. Always make sure you have your car serviced at the required intervals to make sure that mandatory items such as filters and lubricants that have a limited lifespan are replaced; this will limit costly repairs caused by excessive wear and tear.
Diagnosis of other faults and errors
The increased use of Electronic Control Units (ECU’s), more commonly termed ‘computers’, and vehicle sensors have prompted the rise of the computer-aided diagnosis of faults and errors within vehicles. Some modern cars are equipped with diagnostic adapters and warning indicators on the dashboard that alert you when something is defective. Have your vehicle checked at a workshop that uses state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and experience to asses what could be wrong.