​The great Aussie road trip – how ready are you?

Maps and guide books? Check. Favourite Music? Check. Lolly selection? Check! Engine oil? Umm… There’s more to a road trip than Credence Clearwater Revival and chewy caramels.

When it comes to road trips, your car is the hero of the journey. And the condition of your car will either make or break your trip – so take good care of it by conducting some basic maintenance before you leave your driveway for your bitumen and dirt-road odyssey.

Get a grip

Are your tyres in good shape? How’s the tread looking? If they’re ‘only a little bit bald’, that’s fine – as long as you don’t mind having ‘only a little bit of traction’ when you’re on the road.

So, check your tyres for bald spots and tears, and replace them if they’re no longer up to the job.

Also be sure to check that your tyre pressure is set to suit the driving conditions you’ll be encountering, as well as the load you’ll be carrying. For example, if your car usually ferries you from A to B but is about to ferry you, the family, your luggage and a caravan from one side of the continent to the other, you’ll need to adjust your pressure accordingly. And don’t be temped to add one more burst of air for the road, unless you’re keen to blow your tyres before you’ve seen your first rest stop.

And remember, you have five tyres, not four – that spare could be your lifesaver one day, so give it the same attention as all the others.

Light it up

When you’re driving at night, through dust or any conditions where visibility is less than optimal, you want to make it as easy as possible for other drivers to see that you’re there – so check that your headlights, brake lights and fog lights (if applicable) are working properly.

Check your indicators too, and don’t forget your interior light – the outback moonlight may burn brightly, but your interior light still makes it easier to read a map…or find the last runaway chewy caramel.

Braking point

If your car was serviced recently, your brakes are probably in good shape. But if it’s been a while, or if you’ve noticed even the slightest deterioration in braking performance or anything unusual (be it an unusual sound or an unusual sensation as you engage the brakes), get them checked by our expert as soon as you can.

Batteries are included

Did you know that the average car battery lasts around three-and-a-half years (possibly less if you usually take short trips in stop/start traffic)? If your battery is ‘getting on’, if you’ve experienced any difficulty starting your car recently, it’s a good idea to get your battery checked by our experts before you set off. Our mobile battery specialists can check your battery’s charging rate and fluid levels (if applicable to your battery). And if your battery needs replacing, they can ensure you get the right type of battery for your car.

Read the rest of this story, including a handy Road trip Checklist on the RACT Member Hub

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