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Road Trip Checks 101: While you should get your car regularly serviced by a qualified mechanic, there are a number of self-checks you should do before undertaking any trip to ensure that you, your family and your car arrive safely. Photos: Shutterstock.

Road Trip Checks 101: While you should get your car regularly serviced by a qualified mechanic, there are a number of self-checks you should do before undertaking any trip to ensure that you, your family and your car arrive safely. Photos: Shutterstock.

The school holidays are here which for many people involves long hours spent on the road visiting people or having time away with their family. While road trips are always looked forward to, there is plenty of organisation that goes in beforehand, and one of the most important things to look at is car maintenance.

Paterson Auto Garage owner, Ben Burgman, said your car should be serviced regularly by a qualified mechanic to ensure your safety and also keep your car running in top condition. “Quite often we see a lot of issues with suspension and brakes in cars because these are things you won’t normally pick up yourself,” he said. 

We are a local business for local people. Whether it's a new vehicle or an old one, we can look after your servicing.

Ben Burgman, Paterson Auto Garage

 A quick self-service should also be done before any road trip and there are several items to check to make sure your car, and holiday, runs smoothly.

Tyres

Make sure all of your tyres have the correct pressure and rotate them regularly to ensure even wear. You should also check for any abnormal wear and damage such as bulges or cracks, which could cause blowouts. Don’t forget this also applies to your spare tyre.

Smooth sailing: Make sure all tyres have the correct pressure, including your spare, and don't forget your jack.

Smooth sailing: Make sure all tyres have the correct pressure, including your spare, and don't forget your jack.

Oil

There are two things to keep an eye on here. The first is the level of oil and this is done simply by checking the levels on the dipstick. You should also pay attention to what the oil looks like as it should be shiny and clean. If it’s dark and thick, then you should do an oil change, and always keep some oil handy for top ups.

Coolant

This can be a major issue as coolant prevents your engine from overheating. Make sure your radiator is full and inspect all of your hoses to make sure they aren’t soft or cracked. Like oil, you should always have some spare coolant to top up when needed.

Lights

We always use them however apart from headlights it’s not often you notice if anything is not working. Headlights (both low and high beam), blinkers, brake and reverse lights should all be checked to ensure they are functioning correctly and replace any bulbs that may have blown.