Preparing for your dream summer road trip.

02/12/2019

in car entertainment, check tyres, wheel alignment, road trips, road trip packing list, water bottles, regular driving breaks, first aid kit

Now that the warmer months are finally here and Christmas is approaching, it’s time to catch up with family, take a break, head away with the kids or just go on a road trip. With so much going on it’s easy to overlook the very important aspect of car maintenance and being prepared for a road trip.

Low angle shot of an SUV on a sunny windy road

On top of drinking water and taking regular driving breaks, we recommend snacks in the car to keep you from being distracted by being tired or hungry. Leaving with time to spare keeps the pressure off in case you get caught up behind slow traffic, while in car entertainment will keep any children (hopefully) entertained for most of the trip.

These days, entertainment is pretty easy. Think books, a few games pre-installed on the tablet and don’t forget a 12v USB charger and a long enough cable to reach the back seats! Throw in a few old favourite games - remember playing ‘I spy’ as a kid? - , and you’ll be pretty sorted.

Preparing your vehicle for a road trip.

In this article we’re going to cover a few checks that you, or the staff at Tyrezone Capalaba, can carry out on your vehicle to give you peace of mind for your next trip away.

Engine and Mechanical problems can be a bit tricky to foresee but getting leaks, strange sounds, wheel bearings and fluid levels checked can alert you to possible issues before they become a serious problem.

Electrical issues. While we’re checking the vehicle out, it’s a great chance to double check all your external lights are working, headlights, indicators, park and brake lights, don’t forget the reverse lights too. If you’re handy with a multimeter it’s simple to check your battery and charging circuit too.

Tyre pressure is an easy one to keep on top of. Double check your tyre pressures at least monthly in order to keep them wearing evenly and get the most from your tyres. Don’t forget to check the spare tyre too! If one tyre is losing air faster than the others, it is worth checking for punctures or foreign objects that may be stuck in the tread. Some punctures can be repaired whereas other tyres require tyre replacement. Bringing it into us where we can assess the cause of the leak is a great way to give you peace of mind.

Tyre damage is easy to check while you’re inspecting tyres for correct pressure and punctures. Now’s the time to look closely at the tyre tread and sidewalls for uneven wear, tears, rips or cracks on the tyre. Some tyres have reinforced sidewalls to handle off-road abuse but generally this is an area tyres are susceptible to the kind of damage that can suddenly rear its head.

Prepare your trailer for a road trip.

It’s not just your vehicle you need to check. If you’re taking a caravan, boat or trailer away with you, it’s important to check for issues on your trailer. Because of the lower kms trailers usually cover, tyres generally need to be replaced based on age rather than waiting until they’re completely worn out.

When replacing trailer tyres be sure to get tyres that will handle the weight of the trailer plus whatever payload you expect to carry. The team at Tyrezone Capalaba can help you through this process.

One last easy check with trailers is every time you hitch up, double check your indicators, hazard lights, brake and park lights operate as expected. A lot of trailers see extended time outdoors and electrical connectors can suffer as a result.

Other road trip preparation.

Before you pack anything in your car, check to see if you have some stuff that you can take out. Now is the ideal time to clean the interior of your car. Check your door pockets, under the seats, empty the glovebox and center console for any unnecessary items.

If you’re planning a trip away to a remote area it also pays to have some extras packed in your car. At a bare minimum we recommend the following road trip packing list:

  • A spare tyre or tyre repair kit
  • Scissor or bottle jack
  • Emergency car tools, wheel brace, gloves, rope, jumper leads, torch
  • Screwdriver set
  • Small socket set
  • Vehicle specific tools (some European cars require torx for replacing blown bulbs for example)
  • First aid kit
  • Painkillers (aspirin or similar)
  • Rubbish bags
  • Window sun shades
  • Spare fluids (drinking water bottles, brake fluid, coolant, engine oil)
  • Toilet paper/tissues

Your list may vary depending on where you’re travelling or what sort of vehicle you’re in, but this should be a great starting point. Be careful not to overload your vehicle as well! We published an article last month about this that you can read here.

SUV towing single axle caravan along sealed road

Contact us

Here at Tyre Zone we don’t just do tyres. Call us on (07) 3245 6125 or come in and speak with one of our knowledgeable staff about anything from tyres, wheel alignment, suspension and brake component inspections or log book servicing. Make sure your vehicle is primed and ready to tackle your next getaway.

From all the staff at Tyrezone Capalaba, we wish you good times and safe travels on our roads over the silly season.



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