What to check on your car before a long drive

You’ve got a full tank of fuel, but have you considered doing these checks on your car before you drive away?

The Easter long weekend is here, and with many people deciding to travel over the long weekend, it’s a good reminder to check your vehicle before setting off.

RELATED: Electric car owners warned of charging wait times this Easter

In this guide, we will break down a checklist for almost everyone. With the increasing amount of electric and hybrid cars sold around Australia, we wanted to split the checklist for drivers who own petrol or diesel cars, electric or hybrid vehicles, those planning to tow, and those travelling with the kids.

Generally speaking, we recommend people carry a first aid kit, have contact details for relevant roadside assistance services, and have a vehicle manual handy in case you need to understand any of the lights and symbols on your dashboard.

We have a video posted on our social media platforms, which can help locate each item on the checklist.

Here’s what to check on your car before a long drive…

Petrol and diesel cars

  • Check the tyre tread and spare tyre condition
  • Check the oil and washer fluid
  • Check engine lights and, if required, have the vehicle serviced
  • Check your headlights, tail-lights and brake lights work
  • Check your vehicle’s battery isn’t flat and consider carrying jumper leads for emergencies

Electric cars

  • Check tyre tread and spare tyre condition
  • Check the condition of your portable charging cables
  • Research emergency public chargers, what amenities are nearby, and if you have the appropriate adapters for charging
  • Check your relevant electric car apps, including those for public charging, are up to date and payment details are current
  • Check your headlights, tail-lights and brake lights work


  • Know your weights – if you’re unsure, weigh your vehicle with your caravan at a local weigh station
  • Check your tow bar and attachment are correctly installed and secured
  • Ensure all items in the caravan are correctly stored away and secured
  • Ensure your mirrors are adjusted to accommodate the length of the caravan
  • Check your front and rear lights on both your car and your trailer/caravan

Family cars

  • Plan frequent rest stops with bathroom amenities
  • Check you’ve packed USB charging cables for electronic equipment like iPads, iPhones and laptops
  • Check the children’s car seats are correctly installed
  • Check you’ve got up-to-date navigation, and download traffic apps like Waze to use if you have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
  • Ensure an appropriate amount of snacks is available – this is a must!

The post What to check on your car before a long drive appeared first on Drive.

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