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Nine checks to get your car ready for the holiday season

Car engine oil being poured into engine

The weather outside in South Africa is beautiful, and the sun is shining so bright. We’re just as excited as you are! Before you hit the road this summer, there’s something you’re going to need: a car that’s ready for all that holiday season has to offer.

First, you’ll want to make sure your car knows you’re ready for it. If you’re going to replace your brakes, get them done before they start making noise. You might need new headlight bulbs too, if yours aren’t working correctly. Imagine travelling around town with a lousy headlight on your holiday. If there’s one thing we know here at Fixxr, it’s cars. We repair everything from a Nissan Almera to Toyota Camry’s. However, one thing remains constant: They all require some maintenance at times! Our mobile auto repair shop allows us to help people at their homes or office without having to take them out of their cars. We know what might be causing your vehicle not to operate at its best during the hot months of the year, so let us help!

We’re offering our first-ever 50% off any festive season inspection during December 2021! Use the discount code “December2021” when scheduling an appointment online.

We offer convenient booking services via our website at https://fixxr.co.za/book-service/ or by phoning us on 0600434632 and asking for one of our service consultants to book an inspection for your car.

Even if you’re not able to book your car with us yet, we want to ensure that you know how to keep yourself safe when driving. Here are some tips for doing so.

Your vehicle needs to be able to handle whatever the season throws at it, including the heat. Before heading off on your next trip, take time to ensure your car is ready for the season ahead by checking out these nine things you should consider when preparing your vehicle for summer.

1. Check the tyres for any damage or wear and check the air pressure.

Verify the cars tyre pressure before driving again. The vehicle manufacturers should print the pressure specifications in the owner’s manual or a sticker on the body where the door closes. The pressure marked on the side of the tyre is the max, which is not to be exceeded. Inspect the tyre treads and make sure they’re in sufficient depth. In South Africa, you must fit tyres with tyre tread depth measuring no less than one millimetre across their circumferences.

Make sure you don’t forget to check the condition of your spare wheel too. If you neglect the essential task of checking your spare tyre, a bad situation may become even worse than before.

Tyres are a vital part of our car that connects us to the road. Have you paid attention to their condition? An underinflated tyre could increase the risk of blowouts. And an overinflated gum rubber increases too much stress on tyres resulting in high fuel consumption. So always remember to check air pressures and keep them at recommended levels. It is crucial to have a safe ride for you and your family.

2. Make sure all the car lights and signals are working

Check that all vehicle lights and signals are operating correctly. Make sure all the signals are working properly before driving. These good working conditions will enable other drivers to see you, keep you safe, and avoid fines. Ask for another person’s hand to finish this check. Sit in the car, turn on all the lights and signals, and ask them if the lights are functioning correctly. You may want to prepare spare bulbs ahead of time, so they’re ready when needed. At least one bulb per light – headlight, indicator, brake lights and taillights – is recommended.

3. Before taking off for a long drive, always check your car’s brake system.

Regardless of what season you’re driving in, you should always have brakes that are in good working order because brakes are your car’s most crucial safety feature. Maintaining your car’s brake system properly can help you adjust better when driving through slippery roads. If you want to take your vehicle for an inspection before heading off on vacation, be sure to get your brakes checked first. If you take care of things before they become an issue, you’ll be able to avoid expensive brake repair costs when driving away for vacation.

Checking whether your car’s brake system needs replacing is essential for ensuring safe driving conditions. If there’s anything wrong with your brakes, we recommend bringing your vehicle to an auto repair shop near you for inspection. Many places offer these checks at no charge, but we recommend going somewhere you can trust, so you don’t end up replacing something that was already working just fine.

4. Give your radiator a checkup

Suppose the car overheats when driving during the summer months; it could be that the vehicle has a problem with its cooling systems, such as an air conditioning unit not working properly, a leaky radiator, or a defective temperature control device. When you stop your car, if you see a green, orange or yellow liquid under your vehicle, it means there is a cooling liquid leak. Before driving for an extended period, you must first repair the car.

5. Check the oil and other fluid levels in your car

Make sure there’s enough fluid in your vehicle. Checking the engine oil level, coolant level, brake fluid level, and windshield washer fluid level might help avoid accidents or unnecessary breakdowns. Check the levels of both the clutch fluid (which may be called “brake” fluid if your vehicle has automatic transmission) and the power steering fluid (if equipped), too. Find out where fluid reservoirs are by referring to your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

Water is another thing that helps keep an engine cool when driving long distances. Keep an extra bottle of water in your vehicle at all times for emergencies.

It would be best if you got an engine oil change before taking off on vacation. Long trips can be stressful on cars’ motors, so having them serviced beforehand could help prevent any issues from occurring during your journey. Adding extra engine oil doesn’t help clean out the gunk — it just ensures there’s enough fluid, so the new engine oil flows smoothly into place. Because you’re constantly adding fresh oils, you might think they look like they’ve been cleaned up when they haven’t. When changing your car’s engine oil, you must always replace the oil filter simultaneously. Fixxr’s experienced mobile mechanics can help you with a professional oil change.

6. Before leaving for vacation, replace any old batteries and fuses.

Check your car battery: Note any warning signs, including when your car starts sluggishly or if the engine light comes on. Inspect the condition of your car’s battery – if there are leaks or if the battery looks swollen, you should replace it.

7. Check your windscreen wipers and your windows too

If your windshield wiper blades display any signs, they need replacing immediately. If they’re streaking, skipping, sliding or squealing, it may be time for new blades so you’ll see better at night.

Keep it clean: Dirty windows may cause increased glare for drivers behind you, which could be dangerous if you’re driving at night. They’ll also steam up faster than clear ones. Similarly, dirty mirrors reflect the lights from cars behind you and can produce glare in your eyes, so clean them up.

Cleaning your vehicle not only keeps it looking good but also ensures that things like lights, wipers, etc., work properly. If they don’t, there could be issues within the vehicle’s interior. There are two main reasons why cleaning your windshield wipers is so important: It helps improve your visibility when driving and gives you an early warning if there’s something wrong with your wiper blade.

8. Give your car a test drive

Give your vehicle a test ride. Have a test ride on your local road to check the sounds, feel the shakes and watch for the signs around you. A lousy axle bearing could cause a whining noise coming from the wheels. Squealing brakes might be due to warping rotor discs and worn-out brake pads. There’s probably not enough hydraulic braking pressure if the brake pedal feels mushy when pressed down. Please don’t assume that anything inside your car works simply because you use it every day.

9. Be prepared for emergencies by packing the right tools

Ensure that you have all the necessary automotive emergency equipment and work properly. It includes having a mobile phone, an extra wheel, some tools like a flashlight and a screwdriver. You should bring a reflective warning triangle because they require them by law. It may not seem like a big deal now, but if something happens where you need to leave for some reason, having a well-stocked emergency kit could save your life. You’ll want to include things like water, food, blankets (or sleeping bags), flashlights, batteries, fire starters/matches, a first aid kit (and maybe some painkillers if you’re injured). Ensure you include some extra cash, as many ATMs will be closed during the holidays.

You’ll also want to make sure you have a cell phone charger, as you may find yourself without power while out and about.

Emergency kit checklist:

  • Jumper cables
  • Warning triangle
  • A packet of fuses with a fuse checker
  • Towing rope
  • Tyre pressure and tread checker
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Safety gloves
  • Reflector vest
  • Spare 5lt water
  • Spare pint of oil

It’s finally time to hit the road for vacation! There are so many fun things to do, but it’s important to remember that not having enough protection could ruin the entire trip! Make sure you’ve checked out our checklist for everything vehicles need before they hit the road.

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