Christmas is over, the kids are still on holiday, and we’re in the middle of a gorgeous Australian summer. Ultimately, there is no better time for a road trip.
Preparing for a massive road trip can take a lot of time and planning, making it even more exciting when you do eventually get out on the road. While travelling can seem like fun and games, it is important not to neglect the maintenance after the holiday.
Travelling long distances affects your car differently than your normal weekly route. So understandably, after extensive use, your vehicle will require additional elements of care and consideration.
In the same way you may need to take a few days to unwind and recover after your holiday, your car also needs a similar level of care and rejuvenation. As a car owner, it is your responsibility to ensure this happens. While general wear and tear are unavoidable, proper post-road-trip servicing can minimise any damages and save you from unexpected mishaps when on the road.
We have created a list of the essential tips and tricks for maintaining your vehicle post road trip with minimal time, effort, and money required. You deserve to relax after a big holiday drive but relax knowing that your car is in optimal condition too.
Clean Your Car
While this one isn’t so much a tip but rather a necessity, we couldn’t possibly leave it off this list.
Cleaning your car’s exterior is important all year round. Not just for appearances, but because it prevents any dirt and bugs from building up and eating away at your nice paint job. Our cars can get filthy at the best of times, let alone after spending extended time on the open road.
Road tripping also means you are spending extended periods in your car, meaning it is likely to get a little Ma href=”https://novusautoglass.com.au/newsrooms/get-road-trip-ready-with-these-caravan-travel-essentials/”>dirtier and messier than usual. A good deep clean inside your car after a road trip means removing any rubbish and empty food containers, vacuuming the floors and seats, wiping the inside of the windshield and windows, and cleaning the dust out of any crevices, including the aircon vents.
Check Your Tyres
When you head out on your road trip, your tyres are essentially the first touchpoint for damage, as they carry your vehicle across its extended journey. Your tyres can cop some major wear and tear from gravel to off-road dirt tracks, making it ever so important to regularly check their condition. Checking your tyres means checking the air levels and their tread.
Air temperature, kilometres travelled, speed, and unpredictable weather on road trips can all cause fluctuations in tyre pressure. Underinflated tyres are common after long drives and can have many negative repercussions for your vehicle, including increasing fuel consumption, tread separation, and heightening the risk of a blowout. Checking your tyre pressure and inflating them accordingly is essential to improving your tyres’ integrity and safety on the roads.
After a long road trip, the tyre tread can also be significantly worn down. The easiest way to check whether your tread is still sufficient is by placing an Australian 20c coin into the central grooves in your tyre. If the tread doesn’t reach the platypus bill on the coin, this indicates that your tyre has less than 3mm of tread remaining, and it’s time to invest in some new tyres.
Top up Fluids
While you likely checked and topped up any necessary fluids before you left for your trip, you cannot forget that you have just taken your car on a massive workout.
The essential fluids to check once your return home includes:
- Wiper fluids
- Engine oil
- Transmission fluid
- Power steering fluid
- Brake fluid
Fluids make sure everything in your car is running smoothly together. After any long trip, many of these could be depleted and running low, and their massive role in your car’s functionality means they could require a quick top-up.
Get an Oil Change
When checking to see whether your engine oil requires a top-up, it is also important to note the oil’s quality.
Even if your car isn’t due for an oil change for another few months, after a long drive, it is a good idea to get it changed regardless. Such an extended journey will have put more strain than usual on your motor, meaning things could need to be fixed sooner than expected.
Replace the Wiper Blades
While experts recommend you replace your windscreen wiper blades approximately twice a year, this may increase depending on their use.
Replacing wiper blades is often considered an annoying task and one that many people seem to neglect. However, finding suitable blades and installing them accordingly is essential, especially after a long drive where you may have used them more than usual.
Wiper blades can get worn down through use or from the weather, especially from the harsh rays of the Australian summer sun. As an unfortunate result of not replacing old or damaged wiper blades, your windscreen could become scratched by any debris or grime built up on the wipers.
Test Your Brakes
Your car was likely working extra hard throughout your road trip journey, meaning that some of the inner mechanics could have suffered some damage.
Brakes can be challenging to maintain as they are hidden from sight inside your vehicle. However, this doesn’t make them any less important. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that bad brakes are a factor in 22% of vehicle-related crashes, making it vital you can guarantee yours are always in their optimal condition.
Now that you are back home and driving on regular roads, pay extra attention to how your car is driving through your regular routes. Stay in tune with your vehicle and pay close attention to any strange squeals that occur when you hit the brakes or any odd sounds coming from the wheel. If you do hear or notice anything unusual, take your vehicle in for service immediately.
Whether you have just finished a long-distance move or are returning home after a road trip, such a comprehensive vehicle inspection is essential. While most of these tasks can be completed yourself with minimal cost and equipment required, don’t be afraid to leave it to the professionals or seek professional help if you are unsure.
It is far better to maintain your vehicle now than suffer the costly consequences later due to lack of maintenance and vehicle upkeep.
For more information on how to properly maintain and care for your vehicle, contact Novus Autoglass today. While we specialise in all things windscreens, our ultimate goal is to keep you safe on the roads.