A carer in blue shirt and light pants is pushing a person wearing blue pants and pink shirt in a wheelchair onto a ramp for a silver van. The ground is paved and the background is a garden with greenery.

If you plan a road trip to friends and family or a beach getaway and your vehicle hasn’t been in use very much, we have some checks and tips to do before you set off.

Turn off the car and make sure it is in park or first gear, with the handbrake on before starting any checks.

Check and top up fluids if needed.

  • Oil
  • Brake Fluid
  • Windscreen washer fluid

While checking under the hood, inspect hoses for any cracks or damage.

Check wiper blades. Gently wipe the rubber with a damp towel or clean damp rag to remove any dirt or other substance.

Check all lights and indicators are in working order. Arrange repairs or bulbs to fix any that are not working. 

Check tyre pressure. Your vehicle handbook will tell you the suggested pressures or where to find a panel with the tyre pressures. Panels can be in the passenger or driver side door or printed inside the glovebox compartment. Your local service station should have a tyre pressure gauge. Don’t forget to check the condition and pressure of your spare tyre.

If your car is taking more time to start than it used to, or if your car battery hasn’t been changed in a long time, a battery charger can improve the battery. If it is badly damaged, contact your Roadside Assistance Provider, or your local mechanic.

When you turn the vehicle on, note any warning lights that stay on and action if necessary.

Check that the seatbelts retract correctly.

Check the air-conditioning is functioning.

Check the operation of wheelchair lifts, ramps, and hoists contact your vehicle dealer or modifier for repair, maintenance and servicing. Be familiar with the backup operation in case of a breakdown.

Check operation of swivel seats. Contact your vehicle dealer or modifier for repair, maintenance and servicing.

Confirm that the tyre jack, spare tyre, and tools are stored in the vehicle.

Pack a small first aid kit, torch, hi-visibility vest, toilet paper, drinking water, hat, sunscreen and insect repellent in case of emergency.

If you are concerned at all with the safety of your car, it is always best to contact your local mechanic, who can inspect the vehicle and offer you peace of mind before going on a road trip.


This article was originally published in the Newsletter of IDEAS November December 2020 edition. 


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