Be road trip ready this festive season!

Rather be safe than sorry

There’s no time like summertime to set off on a road trip with friends or family. In the spirit of road safety and a love for open road adventures, Battery Centre is encouraging South Africans to conduct important vehicle checks before taking to the road this festive season.

With your vehicle in top condition, you can ensure a smooth, safe trip to your destination.

1. Starting point
Firstly, pop the hood and check the vitals while the engine is cool. These include engine oil, brake fluid and water in the cooling systems. Get a petrol attendant to assist if you’re unsure. Look out for irregularities like leaks; if any are apparent have the cause/reason sorted before driving the distance.

2. Maintain the charge
Ensure your car battery is in the best possible condition by visiting your nearest Battery Centre for a free battery and vehicle electrical check. One of the team of experts will check for battery damage, test the terminals and rate overall performance.

Should a new battery be needed, the best options for your specific needs will be advised before a quick and efficient battery replacement is made.

3. Read the rubber
Check whether the tyre tread on your wheels is within the safe limit. If it’s worn below the limit, it’s unsafe to drive and your tyres should be replaced – in SA, the legal thread limit is one millimetre. Look out for uneven tread wear as this can indicate an alignment issue.

Don’t forget to check tyre pressure. If you’re not sure what the optimum tyre pressure is for your wheels, reference your car’s user manual and/or the inside of the driver’s door. Remember to check your spare tyre, as you might need this along the way.

4. Swish, swish
It may be a fairly dry holiday in most parts of SA this year, with little rainfall predicted, but you should always be prepared for a downpour. Ensure your wipers are equipped to keep your windshield clear when it rains. Check the rubbers are still intact and not falling apart.

5. Smooth, quiet drive
Brakes, suspension, steering, shock absorbers and CV joints all affect your driving experience and safety. It’s a good idea to get a professional to conduct a full check of all these performance influencers, for peace of mind throughout your trip.

6. Switched on
From windows, mirrors and lights to indicators and fuses, a check of all the electrical equipment is very important before heading out onto the road. Check for any malfunctions and be sure to replace or repair them in time for your trip. Carry extra bulbs in case of an emergency lighting issue.

7. The emergency kit
To avoid being caught off guard with no solutions at hand, do an audit of your toolbox for all necessary tools. You should have the following in your car: a reflective triangle, a torch and batteries, jumper cables, car jack, fire extinguisher, a wrench, rope, gloves, tape, screwdrivers, pliers and some rags for wiping your hands.

With your checks complete, you’re all set to enjoy the beautiful local landscape without any vehicle stress. In case of battery troubles when you’re on the road, here’s where to find your nearest Battery Centre.

“Remember to get your car checked out after your trip as well, for year-round safety,” says Andrew Webb, Automotive Marketing Director of Battery Centre’s parent company, First National Battery.