Make sure your car is road trip ready for summer

Make sure your car is road trip ready for summer

As the old saying goes, the most important screw on a car is the loose one. So if you are planning an epic road trip during these summer months, you should follow our mechanic’s checklist to make sure your car is road ready. Long journeys and high temperatures can put stress on a vehicle, especially when it is towing a boat or caravan in typical Kiwi fashion. By following these Drury Tires maintenance instructions, your vehicle will be in good condition and can withstand a long summer ride.


Check the oil level in your car before leaving, or see a mechanic if you are not sure how to do it yourself. Regular replacement of engine oil and filters is important for proper engine performance and durability, but different driving conditions can also affect a vehicle’s lubricants. If you are towing a heavy load, the engine and transmission will have to work harder and their oils will degrade faster. Vehicles towing over long distances in hot climates or hilly terrain may require more regular oil changes in the engine, axle, differential and transmission to avoid premature failure. If you’re going on a long drive in hot, hilly conditions, talk to your mechanic for advice.


If you’ve had a flat tyre off the beaten path only to find that the spare tyre is punctured or flat too, you’ll understand the frustration. Before setting off, be sure to check the pressure in all tyres, including the spare wheel, as well as in the wheels of the van or trailer, and also check them for wear. Car tyres must not be more than ten years old, and tyres for homes or trailers must not be more than seven years old. If they are, you’re inviting problems.


Make sure all headlights on the car and the vehicle you are towing are working properly. To complete this test, you must simultaneously turn on the towing and towing vehicle’s hazard and brake lights and get a helper to observe them in action.


Your car’s brake pedal shouldn’t feel spongy underfoot, and your brakes shouldn’t squeak or squeal. These are signs that you may need new brake pads or brake fluid, or that your rotors may be uneven and warped.


The only thing that stands between you and the overheated engine on a hot summer day in Auckland is the radiator. Always top up and change coolant regularly and never ignore the signs of a coolant leak.


It is important to keep your windshield clean for obvious reasons. Firstly, your wiper blades.

The last thing you need to do is turn on the wipers and find that the blades are worn out and your vision is obscured. Clean them regularly and replace them if they start to squeak or leave streaks. Secondly, make sure all the nozzles on your car’s window washers are working and hitting halfway up the windshield to ensure even cleaning. You can usually adjust the jet angle with a sewing pin if they’ve been knocked out of place. Thirdly, check your washer fluid reservoir is full of washer fluid.

With these simple-but-important vehicle checks you can rest easy before you embark on the summer road trip of a lifetime. If you encounter any vehicle issues, give us a call today and we’ll get your vehicle working spick and span ready to hit the road.