10-Point Holiday Driving Checklist
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Published by TOP4 Team
Easter is a great time to head off on a roadtrip - you have an extra long holiday weekend and the weather is a little cooler than the scorching summer months. Before you head off, it’s a good idea to have your car looked over by a mechanic, but there are several maintenance checks you can do yourself. When you do these, make sure the vehicle is on level ground. This will ensure fluid levels are accurate.
- Radiant Coolant. When your engine is cool remove the radiator cap and check the coolant level. If it’s low, top it up with the correct coolant. Never mix coolant brands. If you’re not sure which coolant to use refer to your car’s manual.
- Engine Oil. Turn your engine for a minute or two to warm up the car. Open the bonnet, remove the oil dipstick, wipe it clean and put it back. Then remove the dipstick again for an accurate reading. If it’s low, top it up with the engine oil.
- Wiring and Hoses. Look carefully under the bonnet for loose, frayed or disconnected wires. Also check radiator and heater hoses, fuel lines and pipes linked to power steering or brakes. Follow the hoses from one end to the other to ensure they’re firmly in place. If you spot any problems with the wires or find hoses to be soft, swollen or cracked, get the to a mechanic.
- Transmission. Refer to your car manual for procedures on how to check automatic transmission and power steering fluid levels. If you have an automatic car, only use the fluid recommended by the manufacturer.
- Brake And Clutch. If you spot any leaks take the car to a mechanic.
- Battery. The fluid inside the battery is corrosive and dangerous so be careful. Remove the battery caps and make sure the fluid is sitting 5mm above the plates, or between the levels indicated on the battery case. If levels are low, use distilled water to top them up.
- Windscreen and Wipers. Replace blades if they’re split, perished or not wiping properly. Fill the washer bottle with clean water and windscreen-washer additive.
- Tyres. make sure tyres are at the right pressure. This is usually indicated on the notice found inside your glove box, the driver’s car door or the fuel cap filler. Adjust the pressure when the tyres are cold. The tread should measure 1.5mm.
- Lights. Check the headlights, high beam, stop, reverse and blinkers. Ask someone to help, or drive up to a reflective wall to check them yourself.
- Controls. Check the controls aren’t too stiff or too loose. Make gearshift changes, push down on the brake, and check the play in the steering wheel.
Fuel saving Tips
- Having your car serviced regularly will give you better fuel economy.
- Correct aligned and inflated tyres will help reduce fuel consumption.
- Air Conditioners increase fuel use by about 10 percent.
- Anything strapped to the roof of your car increases wind resistance and fuel consumption.