By Moïse Akaigwe
Yes you are preparing your car to leave or return from a vacation destination this holiday season, are you sure your vehicle is in the best condition for your trip?
This not only involves making sure your maintenance is up to date, but also making sure your car has what it needs to tackle both the type of roads and other driving conditions that your trip might bring. .
Maintaining your vehicle can have a direct impact on your safety during this time. MasterDrive CEO Eugene Herbert says, “Maintenance, or the lack of it, is a major cause of many accidents during the holiday season. To make sure that you don’t get into an unnecessary accident as a result of parts failure, you need to do a full check of the different parts of their vehicle.
“It’s recommended that you bring in a professional to do this, but if you’ve recently serviced your vehicle, you can also check out some of the basics yourself. “
The following should be updated and / or verified:
Services: Before leaving, make sure that all of your services are up to date. Instead, complete this as soon as possible, especially if major service is or will be due shortly after your return.
Check Fluid Levels: While this is probably something that was checked during your last service, it is still a good idea to check your oil and water levels and remember the levels on your wipers .
Tires: it is always essential to check the condition of your tires to make sure that there is no deterioration of the sidewalls or any other damage that may be caused by an impact against a pothole. Check the expiration date of your tires. Even if it doesn’t cause an accident, some insurers may still have a problem with it. These tires can also be more dangerous as they are more likely to burst, especially in hot weather, as they crack and harden with age.
General wear and tear: Check the condition of components such as the windshield wipers, look for chips on your windshield, and check that all of your lights and turn signals are working properly.
Don’t be negligent: if it’s time to repair or maintain a major part of your car, especially one that can have a definite impact on your safety like the brake pads, don’t delay, especially if you are heading for a long trip.
Prepare for the worst: Have basic emergency supplies in your vehicle, including a first aid kit, basic supplies if you need to be stuck overnight, and supplies that can provide a temporary solution to a problem such as a tire repair sealant. If you are traveling to a remote location, have the necessary facilities to safely transport additional fuel.
State of the roads
Before you go, make sure your vehicle has what it takes to handle expected road conditions. “If you know the area that has encountered circumstances that could affect the quality of the roads, such as harmattan haze, high rainfall levels and consequently an increase in potholes, make sure you have everything you need to prepare for it.
If you are driving in an area that requires an all-terrain vehicle to cross terrain safely, make sure all of your off-road features are properly maintained. Also, do not attempt to drive through an area like this with an ordinary road vehicle.
“Making sure your car is prepared and maintained for the conditions expected can make the difference between a mind-blowing experience and one you can handle competently and with confidence. This requires understanding the area you are going to and the type of roads and conditions to expect along the way. Therefore, planning is an important and essential part of staying safe on the roads this holiday season. “
If you haven’t yet checked whether your vehicle’s maintenance is up to par, now is the time to do it. “Before you put your vehicle away and leave, be sure to devote time and energy to maintaining the vehicle so that you and your family can get to your vacation destination safely and without incident.” Herbert explains.