The 5 most important vehicle checks for the holiday season

It’s the time of year where silly season sets in and the countdown to our long-awaited holidays begin. If you’ve planned a road trip for you and the family, here are 5 of the most important vehicle checks to keep you safe and comfortable on the busy roads.

1. Are your tyres safe and compliant?

Your tyres wear even if you don’t drive your car often, so we recommend you have them inspected at least once a year even if they don’t look worn.

Low tread depth places you and your passengers at risk because it increases the potential for tyre failure, and that’s why tyre manufacturers and the AA suggest you replace them at 1.6mm. Not only that, South African law states that your tyre tread must be at least 1mm deep and anything less will result in a hefty fine!

2. Are your tyre pressures correct for the load being carried?

Do you know the recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle with the extra holiday luggage? Both over- and under-inflated tyres will have a negative effect on your driving:

  • Over-inflated tyres can result in driving discomfort and difficulty to handle your vehicle, especially when taking corners at speed. It also causes irregular wear of your tyres.
  • Under-inflated tyres have a negative impact on consumption, mileage, and steering response. In addition, hidden tyre damage on the inside of the tyre makes your car a high risk for tyre failure and even blowout.

3. Are your vehicle’s oil and water levels correct?

Although it’s simple to check the oil and water levels of your vehicle, it’s surprising how many drivers don’t do it regularly. Depending on the age of the car, you may need to add oil often and at the very least, once a month. Water should be checked at least weekly.

Keeping your oil levels correct will prevent the costly damage of the engine seizing. The correct water levels will prevent overheating that can result in seized pistons, damaged head gaskets, and transmission failure. Who needs car troubles when on holiday?

4. Are all safety belts working properly?

Wearing a safety belt is important throughout the year, but even more so over the festive season. According to Dipuo Peters, Transport Minister at the time, more than 1,700 fatalities were recorded in the 2016 festive period – a 5% increase on the previous year.

Not only will your safety belt prevent you from being flung out of the car in the event of an accident, it’s designed to protect you in a number of ways. For example, a working safety belt protects your brain and spinal cord. It also helps to prevent serious damage by spreading the force of the crash over a wider area of the body.

5. Are all the lights working properly?

More than just helping you see where you’re heading in the dark, your car’s lights provide crucial communication between you and others on the road.

Imagine you’re travelling towards your holiday destination and you’re suddenly without headlights, tail lights, brake lights, or indicators. Can you rely on your hand signals to safely turn, stop, or slow down…or will chaos ensue?

To help you keep you and your loved ones safe on the road over the festive season, Mace is offering a 30-POINT HOLIDAY CHECK for R560 +VAT. For more information, give us a call on 021 701-4816 or complete the contact form below.

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