It’s that time of the year again, time to get out those beach towels and prepare for the holiday season.
Whether you are planning on going to the coast this year or the bushveld, there are certain precautions that you can take when travelling by vehicle to ensure that your trip runs as smooth as possible.
Here at CMH Kempster Ford Pretoria North, our workshop offers a free holiday inspection this December for your vehicle, so make sure that you phone us on 012 404 9200 and ask for one of our service consultants to book an inspection for your vehicle.
If you aren’t in the position to book your vehicle in with us, but still planning on going on a long trip, here are some steps that you can follow to help you drive safe and avoid any breakdowns or mechanical issues;
1 – Check the fluids in your car. Checking the oil, coolant, brake fluid and windscreen wash levels may help you avoid an accident or an unnecessary breakdown. Also check the levels for the clutch fluid (often the same as brake fluid) and power steering fluid (if fitted to your car). Refer to your owner’s manual to see where fluid reservoirs are located.
2 – Check your air pressure. These should be printed in the owner’s manual or a sticker on the body where the driver’s door shuts. The pressure marked on the side of the tire is the max, which must not be exceeded. Also, don’t forget to check your spare tire pressure. Often neglected, not doing so will turn a bad time into a worse one if the spare is unusable.
3 – Get the oil changed before you leave if it’s almost time for a change. A long trip can put additional stress on your motor. Don’t think that adding extra oil by yourself will work like an oil change because that does not get rid of the sludge from old used oil. You may not realize this due to the fact that you are continuously adding new, cleaner oil which makes it appear as if it is clean oil. When changing your car’s oil, you must always replace the oil filter at the same time.
4 – Check your tire wear. Ensure you have at least 1/16th” or 1.6mm tread left. If the tread is less than 1/12″ or 2.5mm, consider replacing your tires for very long journeys as they will wear down more quickly. Tires heat up on long trips which can cause blowouts on worn out tires.
5 – Check your car’s air filter. A plentiful supply of clean air to your engine improves the vehicle’s performance and efficiency. Also check and change your car’s cabin (pollen) filter if it has one, as these are often ignored in services and, if worn, adversely affect the quality of air in the cabin.
6 – Wash your car. At the minimum, clean the windows of your car for the best visibility. Also, check the condition of your wiper blades and replace them if necessary.
7 – Check to be certain that all lights and signals are functional on your car. You may need the help of another person for this. Sit in the car, turn on each light or signal and ask your friend to tell you if it is working or not. Replace bulbs as necessary. Also, consider carrying spare bulbs on a road trip.
8 – Ensure that you have all emergency equipment inside your car and that everything works properly. Emergency equipment includes an up-to-date map or GPS, a cell phone, spare tire, a puncture repair kit, jumper cables and emergency tools like a flashlight, screwdrivers, pliers and an adjustable spanner.
If you only follow these few simple steps, you’ll be free to just roll down the windows, turn on the radio and enjoy the open road! Don’t forget the coffee!
Happy holidays from all of us here at CMH Kempster Ford Pretoria North. Remember, don’t count the last few days of 2017, make the days count! Have a safe and happy festive season.