A family road trip can be an exciting adventure for you and the other members of your family. It gives your family the opportunity to get away from home and explore new locations that you do not normally see.
Most importantly, it allows families to spend some quality time together.Your entire road trip revolves around your car. You will be driving your vehicle for hundreds or maybe even thousands of miles across Australia.
The farther you drive away from home, the more difficult it will be to call a friend or relative if you get stranded somewhere unfamiliar.
The best way to prepare for a family road trip is to conduct a 7-point safety check before leaving. This safety check will apply to both your vehicle and the accessories you are bringing with you.
Depending on your destinations, there are some items which you must bring for safety purposes too. Aside from that, your vehicle needs an inspection to ensure it is in full working order.
Let’s explore the 7-point safety checklist now.
Cars have lots of different fluids in them which provide both power and lubrication to a vehicle. Check your levels of engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and windshield wiper fluid.
If you have low levels of any of these fluids, then replace the fluid immediately. Also, check to make sure there is no damage causing a leak. If there is, repair the leak.
Check Your Tyres and Air Pressure
Check the treads of your tires to ensure they have the proper depth. Look at your owner’s manual to find out what the ideal depth size is for your tire treads.
Flat treaded tyres will cause major problems with your driving on the road and they may also be illegal, so you must have a lot of deep treads. Also, make sure the air pressure of each tyre is within an acceptable psi range.
Check Your Child Car Seat
Are you taking a small child on your family road trip? If so, then you must use a child car seat and practice proper child car seat safety. Ensure your car seat meets the requirements of the relative law in the states you will be travelling through.
The life of your child may rely on you correctly installing the car seat and choosing a car seat that is of the proper size for your child’s weight and height. Position the car seat properly in the back seat prior to the trip.
Check Your Emergency Kit
An emergency kit is one accessory you must have on a road trip. In case your vehicle breaks down and leaves your family stranded, an emergency kit could be what saves your life.
It is a kit which includes a cell phone, first-aid kit, flares, jumper cables, flashlight, water, and blankets.
Check the Diagnostic Results
Before your road trip, borrow or purchase a diagnostic scanner and connect it to the data link connector in your vehicle. This connector links directly into the central computer of the vehicle.
The diagnostic scanner basically scans the computer and detects potential problems with any of the vehicle’s systems. The scanner’s display screen will give you a code which references a particular problem. You will have to look up that code in the instruction manual to see what it means.
How old is your battery? If it is more than two or three years old, then inspect it for corrosion on the terminals. If you see corrosion, then it means your battery is about to die.
You definitely do not want to risk that happening on a road trip because it will leave your family stranded.
You must replace your battery with a new one immediately if in any doubt as to the reliability of the battery.
Check Air Filters
Every vehicle has two air filters: a cabin air filter and engine air filter. The cabin air filter cleans debris out of the air coming from the dashboard vents. This is the air you breathe inside the cabin.
The engine air filter blocks out debris from the air which goes into the internal combustion chamber and mixes with fuel. This allows for better fuel efficiency and mileage.
Check both air filters. If they are covered in debris, replace them immediately with new air filters. That way, you and your family can breathe clean air on the road trip and ensure that your engine runs more efficiently.
Having completed all these checks, you are ready to hit the road and enjoy some quality family time together.