Your DIY roadworthy checklist

Posted on 2015-11-18

 

You can just about feel the sea-sand between your toes and the sun on you back. You are busy with the last hard push before the summer holidays and the only thing keeping you from losing your mind is the promise of a nice relaxing break.

 

However, before you can get to your Island in the sun[1] (or even if you are just staying home), you need to brave our roads. A Traveller24 report stated that during the 2014 festive season there was a total of 924 car accidents.[2] Moreover, according to DEKRA Automotive[3], most of these accidents are caused by cars that are not roadworthy. It is also very important to remember that your car insurance policy will not pay out your claim, if your car is deemed unroadworthy.

 

Now, if you can afford to, you should take your car for a professional roadworthy check. You can visit either your local traffic department[4] or DEKRA service centre[5]. These checks will take time but you’ll receive a certificate stating your car is in mint condition or, if it’s not, they will discuss the defects with you as well as how to address them.

 

Should you not be able to take your car in for a professional roadworthy check, there are things you should check before you set out on the long road. We’ve summarised a list of DIY checks for you below. 

 

The fluids

When you stop at the petrol station to fill up before you set out, ask the attendant to check your car’s oil, windscreen wash and water levels. Also, remember to have a look at your car’s clutch, break and power steering fluids. If you’re unsure, refer to your owner’s manual.

 

The tyres

Make sure your tyres’ air pressure is correct. You’ll find this number on a sticker on the inside of the driver’s door as well as in the owner’s manual. Do not exceed the maximum pressure number. You can also check your tyres at the petrol station while you are filling up.

It’s also very important to check the grooves on your tyres. If they’re shallower than 1.6mm, it’s time to replace your tyres. Don’t forget about your spare wheel either; make sure it’s correctly inflated and that you have all the tools you’ll need to change it.

 

The lights

Check all your lights: headlights, taillights, emergency lights, reverse lights, indicator lights, brake lights, fog lights – the lot! If they aren’t working, get them replaced as soon as possible. While you’re busy checking your lights, take your car in to have them realigned. Make sure that you have optimum visibility while driving. 

 

The air

The cleaner the air that flows into your engine the better your car will perform, which is why it’s important to check (and replace, if necessary) your car’s air filters. 

 

The equipment

Go through all the equipment in your car and make sure that you have everything you need. Here’s a list of important things you should keep in your car:

  • Reflective emergency triangle
  • Reflective vest
  • Spare tyre
  • All the tools needed to change a tyre
  • A torch
  • A medical kit
  • If you can, a fire extinguisher
  • Water

 

The service

Take your car in for a proper service at least once a year to make sure that everything is still running smoothly. Although you need a professional to look at your car, there are certain things you can do yourself, such as changing your oil and oil filters.  

 

The wash

Wash your car regularly. Even if it’s just your headlights and windows – the better you can see the better you can drive.

 

The DIY checklist was taken from WikiHow.[6]

The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and do not constitute professional advice.

 

Sources

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erG5rgNYSdk
[2] http://traveller24.news24.com/News/SA-road-deaths-hit-over-1-100-as-speeding-fines-soar-20141230
[3] http://www.aa.co.za/content/DEKRA_Safety%20Check.pdf
[4] http://www.gov.za/services/roadworthiness/roadworthiness-certificate
[5] http://www.dekraauto.co.za/branches
[6] http://www.wikihow.com/Check-Your-Car-Before-a-Road-Trip





View our blog categories