6 things to check before hitting the road these holidays…
1. Tyre pressure
2. Spare tyre & tools
3. Wheel alignment
4. Wheel balancing
6. Battery terminal connections
While most people check their tyre pressures before embarking on a long journey, many vehicle owners don’t make adjustments to account for payload. That said, if your vehicle is heavily laden with passengers, and/or holiday essentials, your tyre pressures should be adjusted as per the manufacturer’s recommendation for a heavy load.
SPARE WHEEL & TOOLS
Let’s face it, very few of us check our spare tyre on a regular basis. Meaning, the day you need the extra tyre, is the day it will invariably be underinflated.
On that note, make sure you check your spare tyre’s air pressure before leaving on a long journey; and include your vehicle’s jack, wheel spanner, and any other necessary tools in the inspection.
Aside from causing uneven tyre wear, incorrect wheel alignment may make your journey more tiring as you have to continuously correct the vehicle’s steering.
Nothing destroys the driveability – and longevity – of a tyre quite like an unbalanced wheel. This is especially true for 4x4 and SUV owners who have all-terrain or mud-terrain tyres fitted. In these cases, an unbalanced wheel will unquestionably lead to irreversible tread damage, excessive noise, and reduced tyre life.
Although your vehicle’s braking system should be inspected by a professional, an anecdotal test can be conducted by applying firm braking pressure at highway speeds.
If you notice any signs of brake fade, vibrations, and/or shuddering, you should have your vehicle’s braking system serviced – before leaving on a long trip.
BATTERY TERMINAL CONNECTIONS
Battery terminal corrosion, or a loose connection, are two leading causes of vehicle hard starting. A quick inspection will give you peace of mind that your battery and charging system are working properly.
Start by “wiggling” the battery terminal to determine if there’s free play or movement. Then, check for signs of corrosion in the form of a white-blueish powder surrounding the battery’s terminals. If either symptom is presented, then have your battery serviced by a specialist, before hitting the road.