Holiday trip preparation tips

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A road trip should be properly planned so that it can be a carefree and exciting one. As well as having car insurance, for peace of mind, the following are a few tips to ensure your ride is hassle-free and one that will allow you to arrive at your destination safely.

Simple car maintenance

In addition to regular vehicle maintenance you should frequently check your car, particularly before a long drive. This can help ensure your journey is not interrupted by vehicle problems.

Check that your lights, windscreen wipers and washers are working. Make sure you check your vehicle's fluid levels too. This includes checking your power steering fluid, the engine oil and the transmission fluid. Critically, check your coolant levels: coolant runs through the radiator and the engine and prevents your car from over-heating. If you are travelling to a cold area you may need to add antifreeze if your coolant does not already include it: check your car's manual and motoring advice for the region you are travelling to. For a car battery that is not sealed, you should also check the water level.

Tyres need to be checked to ensure correct inflation. You should refer to your car manual or information on your vehicle to determine the recommended tyre pressure. Tyres wear, impacting on you tyre tread's depth and condition. You will need to ensure that your tyres comply with the legal tread depths in your state or territory. The same inspection and test should be applied to all four tyres as well as to your spare tyre before you embark.

Make sure you have frequent stops for safety sake.

Indications that a check-up is due

Watch out for indications that your brakes or fan belts are due for replacement. Signs of worn brakes may include hearing scraping or squealing sounds, or a burning smell when your brakes are applied. A drive belt may loosen or wear over time. A screeching sound that manifests whilst you accelerate may be a sign of a worn or loose drive belt. When such situations arise or if you are unsure about your brake or belt's condition, you should immediately consult a qualified service person such as a mechanic.

Pit stops

Long hours of driving can be tiring and should be avoided. You should watch out for signs of fatigue, such as drowsiness or eye-strain. Taking regular rests or sharing the driving are ways that will allow you to remain alert behind the wheel and avoid motor vehicle accidents.

Breaking down at the side of the road is not as stressful when roadside assistance is just a phone call away.

Road service options

Unless you are confident with repairing cars, roadside assistance is a handy option to have. When contacting your roadside assistance provider, it is useful to have the following information ready: your vehicle's location, registration number, make and model. For drivers insured under the Allianz Protection Roadside Assistance Standard Plan, customer service assistants will try to get your vehicle mobile over the telephone. If that fails, Allianz Global Assistance will dispatch a service provider to assist you.