The Easter Weekend is one of the busiest for road traffic in South Africa. Thousands of families hit the roads as they try to enjoy a few days at the coast or head home to visit loved ones. Before you do it is essential to prepare your car. Here are a few handy tips that you should aim to carry out before you leave on your trip.

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Check your Tyres

One of the most overlooked aspects of a car are its tyres. Most people don’t know, or care, much about the tyres fitted to their vehicle. However is it these little patches of rubber that keep us in contact with the road, so they are vitally important. Check that the tread depth of each tyre, including the spare, is legal. This will provide added safety and keep you on the right side of the law in an inspection. Ensure your tyre pressures are all set to OEM spec. Doing so will ensure better fuel consumption and more predictability. Also check that all the wheel nuts are tightened while you’re at it.

Get your Car Washed

This seems obvious, but a clean car is safer and uses less fuel. Keeping all windows and lights clear of dirt helps you to see better and to let others see you. Less surface dirt means better aerodynamics. As a result your car will consume less fuel. At the same time you should check the condition of your wiper blades. You may need them to keep an eye on the road ahead should there be a rain shower.

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Light Check

Following on from our previous point, check that all your lights are functioning properly. While all external lights are important, be sure that your brake and head lights are all in order. Also, be sure to use your indicators on the road and DON’T use your foglamps when not needed.

Safety Check

Two critical systems that should be checked regularly are the brakes and engine fluids. The brakes are probably the most critical safety component on your car, along with the steering wheel. Ensure that your brakes are functioning correctly before any long trip. Don’t ignore scraping noises coming from the wheels or ABS indicator lights on the instrument cluster. The brake system check should include a fluid level check as well.

Check all other fluid levels while you have the bonnet open. Check coolant and window washer levels as well. If you don’t know where to find these, consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Or pop into your local service station. Just be sure to tip the attendant well for helping out.

These are just some of the things you should do before leaving on a long road trip. This list is, by no means, exhaustive but more of a guide to help you stay safe on the roads. If you are heading out, be patient on the roads, leave plenty of time for travel and take breaks/swap drivers if you are travelling really far. Safe motoring…