Saturday, May 25

The Ultimate Road Trip Checklist: Preparing Your Vehicle for the Long Road


Whether you’re going on a solo trip or taking the whole family along for the drive, the open road calls for a little vehicle prepping. Before you leave home, it is important to carry out several simple car maintenance checks to ensure the safety of your vehicle and everyone in it.

Not sure which checks to carry out on your car before a road trip? Check out this ultimate road trip checklist from used car experts before you hit the long road.


Check fluids

Maintaining your car’s fluids is important in ensuring that a road trip goes smoothly. While motor oil is commonly referred to as an engine’s lifeblood, cars require a range of specialised fluids critical to the performance and durability of your vehicle. Don’t forget to check your car’s transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and engine oil.

Examine your car battery

Take note of any warning indications, such as sluggish starting or the engine light coming on. Examine the state of your car battery; if there are leaks or the battery appears swollen, it should be replaced.

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Check your windshield wipers

Are any of the four S’s visible on your front and back windshield wipers? Replace them if they are streaking, skipping, slipping, or squeaking to ensure maximum visibility on your road trip. Fortunately, with a little research, car windshield wipers can be found at a reasonably affordable price.

Clean the windows

When driving at night, dirty windows enhance glare from other vehicles’ lights and are more prone to steaming up. Similarly, unclean mirrors reflect the lights from vehicles behind you and can cause glare in your eyes, so keep them clean.


Maintain tyres (including the spare)

Inflate your vehicle’s tyres to the proper pressure (check the required pressure by looking at the “sticker label” on the inside door panel by the driver’s side or near the fuel tank). Check the wear on your car tyres as well. South African regulations require tyre tread depth to be at least 1 millimetre over the circle of the tyre. Remember to inspect your spare tyre as well.

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Check the lights

Check that all of your car’s lights are turned on from the front to back. This includes your turn signals, high-beams, and emergency danger lights.

road trip

Don’t overload the vehicle

Do you know your vehicle’s weight limit? Overloading your car risks your safety because it is less stable on the road and might be challenging to steer. Overloaded cars are slower to overtake and take longer to stop. The maximum weight capacity of your vehicle is marked on the driver’s door.

Pack extra supplies in case of an emergency

Whether your car has a flat battery or breaks down on the side of the road, there are several items you should always carry in your car. A list of must-have goods for your car includes jumper cables, a foldable reflective triangle, a tow rope, an emergency window hammer, a seatbelt cutter, a flashlight and a basic first aid kit.

car road trip

Make a route map

Always ensure that you’ve taken the time to become acquainted with your road trip route. Prepare an alternate route and stay current on road conditions and traffic difficulties on your scheduled route. A portable car GPS navigation system can be a lifesaver while traveling through unfamiliar areas.

Be sure your vehicle is roadworthy

Finally, it’s important to be certain that your vehicle is roadworthy and reliable. If you’re shopping for a second-hand car and you’re hoping to take it on a road trip soon then use a reputable second-hand car buying service like Motus. cars can ensure you have a simple, uncomplicated, and safe car-buying experience – with just one click!


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