Travelling a long distance? Safety checks you’ll need

You are travel ready! You have your GPS prepped and ready, you know the route you are taking and the attractions you want to see, don’t forget to prepare your vehicle to be travel ready as well. Here are a few key items on your car that you need to check are in tip top shape when travelling a long distance.

Apio gives tips for checking your car when travelling a long distance

Check these on your car:

  1. Tyre’s are a key part of the vehicle so start by checking the tread to make sure that you do not need to change them. If they are at 1.6mm then it is best to change them out. Don’t forget to include your spare tyre in this check. There is nothing worse than being stranded without a usable spare when you are travelling a long distance.
  2. Windscreen wipers need to clear your windscreen in heavy rain so check that they are in good condition and not perishing or that something is not stopping them from clearing your view adequately. If there is any problem with them, you should replace the blades before starting off.
  3. Also, check that the water bottle that feeds the windscreen is not leaking, you will collect bugs on your travels and will need to clear them away without marking your view. If there is a problem you should consider replacing or plugging any holes in the water bottle before travelling a long distance.
  4. It is a good idea to travel with your lights on at all times, especially during a long distance, make sure that all your lights are in working order. Don’t forget that if you are using a trailer you must check those lights as well.
  5. To make sure that your vehicle is long distance ready, you can take it to your dealer or service provider and ask them to check. Some dealers have a quick check service which they offer free of charge.
  6. Make sure that the tools in your car are suitable for changing a tyre and should include the warning triangle. Don’t forget it is a good idea to have a first aid kit in the car as well. If you are going across the border, make sure that you have the correct tools and stickers required by their law. (Click here for more on cross-border travel)

Before you leave, check the following:

  1. Check your oil and water levels. This can be done at any petrol station forecourt and is a good idea to do when you top up with petrol.
  2. Check your tyre pressure is set for a heavy load so that it can accommodate the fact that you are carrying luggage and passengers as well as possibly towing a trailer. You can check your owners manual for the correct pressure.

For more assistance with checking your car, chat to your local mechanic or keep an eye on the AA website for more tips: https://www.aa.co.za/