Summer means wet season in a big chunk of the country so if you’re driving around tropical Australia, make sure you take a few preventative and active measures to make sure both your car and passengers get through those long, hot, wet and humid days on the road.
GET YOUR CAR SERVICED
No matter what time of the year, it’s important to get your car services before you head off on any long road trip. It’s an important step in ensuring you suffer as few issues on the road as possible.
Even if your car has been services, you should check your radiator coolant levels and check if the cooling fan is working. It’s easy to do: simply idle the car after a drive and see if the fan starts working and then turns off after a short time. If your car is using a lot of coolant or you don’t think the fan is working, then take it in to a specialist. It’ll save you money in the long run.
Slippery conditions take their toll on a car's brakes. If your car makes noises when you plant the anchors, or if the pedal feels like it’s going all the way to the floor, get them checked by an expert as soon as possible.
You’ll also need to make sure windscreen wipers and washers are in good order. If the wipers leave streaks across the windscreen replace them. Anti-water protector will help rain water bead up and roll off your windshields and mirrors like it does off the proverbial duck’s back.
Here are some tips for keeping your windscreen clear when it rains.
Good tread is essential for grip on wet roads and you need a minimum of 1.5mm of tread depth across the face of the tyre. Also check your tyres regularly in the heat, and check your tyre pressures in the morning before leaving on your trip to avoid the heat altering the reading’s accuracy. Keep your tyre pressures at the recommended PSI, as underinflating them will use more fuel.
Ensure your spare tyre is inflated and your jack and associated kit is in working order should you need to change a tyre. It’s also a good idea to carry something to kneel on should the roads be wet or hot.
THINGS TO PACK
Radiator coolant, drinking water, non-perishable food, insect repellent, sun cream and umbrellas for shade should all be packed in the car on any road trip, regardless of the time of year. Also make sure you have a charger cable for your phone so you can call fort assistance or use apps such as maps or weather alerts.
Read more about the most important things to always carry in your car.
PLAN AHEAD AND AVOID FATIGUE
No matter what time of the year you plan on travelling, it’s always important you plan head and check if there will be any interruptions to your road trip. Things like road works can delay time, but weather related obstructions can become risky, particularly during Wet Season when floods become a threat. It’s also a good idea to have places to stop, including service stations, planned on your map, so you can grab any refreshments you need, but you’ll also know where to stop if you need any help.
Regular stops as well as keeping hydrated are important to your safety. Driving over long distances is fatiguing at the best of times, let alone during extreme heat or rainy weather.
Can't get enough? Now read about our top summer car and driving tips.