With summer holidays right around the corner, many South Africans are looking forward to a well-earned family or couple’s trip away. Think about it, it’s the first time since 2019 that we can properly plan an unrestricted summer getaway, especially after the hectic year that 2022 has been. But before hitting the highway, the process of getting your car ready and road-safe for the long trip ahead needs to be an integral part of your holiday plans.
It might seem like a tedious (and sometimes costly) exercise, but our seasonal Weelee advice is that you check your car’s roadworthiness well in advance of your departure. Remember, many mechanical workshops and dealerships take their annual holidays in mid-December. Don’t leave it until the last minute!
We’ve compiled our helpful Weelee summer service checklist to ensure that you can enjoy stress-free motoring while looking forward to sand, sea, bush, braai’s, and all-round lekker vibes this festive season.
#1 Check under the bonnet for any minor or major faults
Nothing blows the festive cheer quicker than an overheated engine, radiator or head gasket on a dirt road, miles and miles from nowhere! Don’t fast-track Januworry – take your vehicle to your local mechanic to get the once-over on all the major components under the bonnet before you take off in December. Regardless of how recently you may have had your car serviced, this is a ‘year-end party’ you need to RSVP to!
#2 Align your tyres for the long journey ahead
There’s something about the festive season that draws us to the letter P – Plettenburg, Pilanesburg and Potjiekos being just a few. However, with the summer rains, potholes become an inevitable challenge that we have to navigate after the arrival of the long-awaited rains. Now is an ideal time to take your vehicle to your local tyre specialist to check on the condition of your tyres.
Ensure that you check for the following;
- Overall condition of the front and back tyres
- Elusive slow punctures
- Thread count
- Wheel alignment and balancing
- Ensuring you have the right spare tyre
- Everything required to change a tyre on the road – including the lug nut key for your rims.
#3 Windscreen wiper checks
Anticipate four seasons in a day as you make the long, cross-country trek to your chosen destination. Often an afterthought, old or unsecured windscreen wipers can become a serious hazard if you find yourself caught in a sudden storm with no cover to retreat to. If your wiper blades leave a sticky residue on the windscreen, they need to be replaced!
Take your vehicle to a local Midas, Autozone or other car parts store, to get the correct wiper blades fitted. Nothing beats a clearer view when you’ve got many miles to clock up, to get to your final summer destination!
#4 Guarantee visibility by checking all your lights
Alongside driver fatigue, poor visibility is one of the most common causes of all accidents that take place on our roads. Don’t become one of Minister Mbalula’s January road stats; ensure that all your lights are in perfect working order before you take to the nation’s roads.
The different car lights below need to be checked and if needed, replaced:
- Front headlights
- Full beam Headlights
- Tail lights
- Fog lights
- Braking lights
- Front and back indicator/signal lights
If you are bringing a trailer along to store and transport all of your summertime goodies, ensure that you complete similar checks. Proper and timely maintenance of your car lights, make sure that both your passengers and other drivers on the road can stay safe in the dark and we can all get to our favourite summer holiday spots safely.
#5 Other pre-road-trip factors to consider
Getting your car ready for a summer trip does not just involve mechanical checks.
Boost your checklist by considering the following before you sign off and set sail:
- Are your Driver’s Licence and Vehicle Disk still up to date?
- Can your current vehicle handle the weight capacity for additional luggage, bikes, surfboards etc?
- Are there any major roadworks planned along your route which may impact travel time?
- Keep it cool by checking your air conditioning system before you make the long trip.
- Ensure your car battery is working optimally and replace it if needed.
Sell your car this summer with Weelee
At Weelee, we play our part in creating unforgettable summer memories by helping you to get the best cash price when selling your car. Simply upload your vehicle, allow reputable dealers to bid for your used vehicle and sell for the highest offer.