Headlights. Photo by Konrad Bednarek, Unsplash.

Critical car checks

Car checks every driver should perform before setting off on the December road trip.

With many people still anxious about taking flights, particularly with news of the new Omicron coronavirus variant, we can anticipate heavy traffic on the roads this festive season. Although driver behaviour goes a long way to preventing accidents during those long holiday drives, it’s equally important to pay attention to the state of one’s vehicle.

Here are five checks every driver should undertake before starting on a road trip:

  • Brakes: one of the most important car parts when it comes to safe driving, it’s not just the brakes themselves that need to be checked – calipers, brake pads, discs and brake fluid must all be in good working order.
  • Tyres: Although most drivers make sure their tyres (and hopefully spare wheel) are at the correct pressure, it’s vital to check tread, too. Worn tyres compromise safety by giving less grip on the road. Drivers should also make sure they have all the tools required for an emergency tyre change.
  • Lights. Every light on the vehicle should be checked by turning it on while the car is parked. This includes the indicators, hazards, parking and reverse lights, fog lights and headlights.
  • Fluid levels. Although it is important to check the level of oil, wiper fluid, coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid and power steering fluid, it’s also key to make sure that these are not dark or dirty.
  • Wipers. Worn wipers can hamper visibility severely, and must therefore be replaced.