One of Melbourne’s largest independent prestige service specialists, Ammstar Autohaus, has these 10 tips for prestige car owners planning a road trip this winter.
The halfway point of the year sees many Australians hitting the open road for a well-earned break. Amidst the excitement of planning for a road trip, travellers often overlook the most important element of their big adventure - the health of their car.
Whether you’re craving the fresh air of a wholesome camping adventure, or making the journey to visit family and friends in regional parts of the country, you need to make sure your car is prepared for the long trip ahead.
Not only will car issues put a massive dampener on your road trip, they have the potential to put your friends and family in serious danger. While you’re cruising through the countryside, the last thing you want is to be deserted on the side of the road with a broken down car, especially on a cold and wet winter’s day.
To get there and back safely, follow our handy road trip checklist.
10 Point Road Trip Checklist
1. Have your car serviced in advance
Above all else, make sure you service your car before you hit the road. There’s no substitute for the eyes of a professional mechanic, even if it’s just a basic car servicing checkup. Your mechanic will ensure your car is in excellent working order, ready for wet roads and long distance driving.
2. Check the battery
Check your battery to make sure it’s strong and has clean terminals - a little baking soda and water will do the job. Your road trip can’t start if your car won’t!
3. Check your tyres
Inspect your tires for any tears or bulges in the side wall. The tires should have a good amount of tread left. Make sure tire pressure is set to the figures printed on the placard on the driver’s door jam, or what’s listed in your car’s owner manual.
4. Check your fluids
Ensure all your fluids are topped up, including engine oil, water, transmission, coolants, brakes and power steering.
5. Make sure all your lights work
Get one of your passengers to stand outside the car to check if your headlights, brake lights, indicators and high beams are working correctly.
6. Clean your windscreen
A simple but important tip is to make sure your windscreen is crystal clear on the inside and outside. This is especially important if you’ll be driving in low light, wet or dusty conditions.
7. Familiarise yourself with your car’s cruise control
Make the long drive safer and more relaxing by using cruise control.
8. Plan for the worst case scenario
Be prepared for things to go wrong as they sometimes do. Always bring a map or GPS so you don’t get lost, and pack the following emergency basics: tyre changing kit, jumper cables, plenty of water, a thick cloth, torch, matches or lighter and first aid kit. If you're heading into more remote areas beyond mobile phone range, considering taking a personal locator beacon so you can send a distress signal to emergency services if anything goes wrong and you need help urgently. Also ensure you have some food supplies on board and enough sleeping bags or blankets that is you were stranded in your broken down car that you could stay warm overnight.
9. Get a good night’s sleep and take breaks
Try to go to bed nice and early the night before and take multiple breaks throughout the journey to stay fresh and energised. Fatigue and fallign asleep at the wheel are a major cause of highway accidents.
10. Take your time and enjoy the journey
Be patient, don’t rush and always put the safety of you and your passengers at the forefront of your mind. Consider the conditions, and slow down on wet or gravel roads. A safe trip is a happy trip.
For Melbourne owners of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Volkswagen vehicles, Ammstar Autohaus deliver peerless independent car servicing at the best possible price. With close to two decades of experience specialising in European cars, you can rest assured your vehicle will be in the best hands possible, and that you and your family will enjoy a stress-free road trip.
If you have a road trip planned, book your car servicing at Ammstar online at https://www.ammstarautohaus.com.au/ or give them a call on (03) 9585 1676.