Heels & Horsepower Magazine


7 things your car needs to be ready for a road trip

If you are planning a long distance drive over the upcoming long weekend or any other, its important that you don’t embark on a trip without making sure that you car can handle the drive. ITs one thing to have a breakdown near your home or in the familiarity of your home city but mechanical failure hundreds of kilometers from the nearest town can be inconvenient to put it mildly.

Before you take to the open road make sure your car is thoroughly inspected, preferably by an expert. These are some of the basic checks a pre-road trip should entail:

  • TYRE PRESSURE: It is important to ensure that your tyres are not over or under inflated. The correct tyre pressure will improve tyre maintenance and fuel efficiency, keeping you and your family safe while saving you money in the long term.
  • ENGINE COOLANT: Many drivers understand that their cars need coolant but don’t fully understand why. Coolant protects the the metal and non-metal parts within the engine from freezing or overheating. It plays an important role in maintaining engine heat and ensuring the engine functions optimally, which will minimize your chances of getting stuck on the side of the road due to an overheating engine.
  • BRAKES: Without a doubt your braking system is one of the most important safety features in your car. Brake pads should be checked by a professional, especially if you hear any abnormal sounds such as squealing and screeching or feel vibrations whenever you engage the brakes.
  • WIPER BLADES: The worst time to discover that your wiper blades are worn is in the middle of a rain storm. streaks and smears indicate worn blades will hinder your ability to see through the windscreen clearly. Having your car checked before a long distance drive identify problems with the blades, giving you an opportunity to have them replaced for the benefit of your safety.
  • BATTERY: Your car battery is the heart of your vehicle for all its electronics. The battery interacts with more components in your vehicle than you may know exist.  It also stores electricity then sends out jolts to every electrical element in your car. Not only does it power the electrical components, but it also keeps the electrical current in your car steady, which means it makes sure your car starts and has enough electricity to stay running.  If poorly maintained your car battery has the ability to completely shut your car down leaving your stranded. 
  • LIGHTS: Not only do headlights, taillights, brake lights and indicators go a long way towards ensuring your on -road safety, but they make you more visible to other road users too. replacement globes for most cars are quite inexpensive so there is no reasonable excuse for being a ‘one-eyed-bandit’.
  • BELTS & HOSES: The hoses in your vehicle connect to the radiator, heater, fuel lines, vacuum lines, air conditioning, and power steering. Portions of hoses connected to the engine are flexible which allow them to absorb vibrations from the vehicle. Most often hoses will wear from the inside, appearing stable on the outside, however if one of these breaks you could find yourself stuck and inmobile.

As more and more people opt to keep their cars for longer (due to economic reasons), the likelihood of vehicles becoming unroadworthy increases. In turn, the probability of accidents caused by mechanical failure intensifies. In addition to having your car serviced regularly, getting it checked timorously prior to a long distance is vital. Don’t become a statistic, get your car checked before you go on holiday.


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