GET IT CHECKED OUT: Before setting off on your holiday, have your vehicle checked out at a reputable workshop/mechanic. ~ iStock
Cape Town - With the end of the year nearing, the Automobile Association (AA) has urged motorists to make provision now to get their vehicles serviced, checked, and roadworthy, to ensure they do not run out of time before leaving on holiday.
The AA has also suggested that motorists make sure all the necessary documentation for their vehicles, including caravans, trailers, or any other towing vehicles, is also in order, especially if they are planning on crossing into any neighbouring countries.
Get things done ASAP
The AA warned: “Don’t assume that you have enough time to get everything in order; you may find yourself at the end of a very long waiting list, and you therefore run the risk of not getting everything done in time. A delay in certain parts, for instance, may result in your car only being serviced a lot later than you expected, which may jeopardise your plans."
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The Association said it is important for any motorist who is planning a long road trip to ensure their vehicles are safe, dependable and ready for the road, and able to make it to its destination and back. With so many people wanting to get their vehicles checked before leaving, workshops, garages, and fitment centres experience a surge in clients, many of whom have to either wait for long times to get their turn, or who simply have to do without.
The AA adds: “Apart from checking that the vehicle - or towed vehicle - is in a good condition, motorists must also check that the tyres of all the vehicles they will be travelling with are in a good condition. We recently demonstrated the dangers of worn tyres, and it is not something any motorist should gamble with. The condition of the brakes should also be checked, and these should be replaced if necessary."
The Association said motorists should ensure the following:
• That the vehicle is in a roadworthy condition,
• That tyres (including the spare tyre), brakes and shock-absorbers are in good condition and reliable to get you there and back again,
• That the windscreen doesn’t have any chips or cracks (especially those that can get worse on a long journey and impair visibility), and that windscreen wipers are working properly,
• That the vehicle is mechanically sound,
• That all the electronics on the vehicle are working properly,
• That any towing vehicles are also in a good condition and capable of making the journey (including the tyres)
• That the car has been serviced in time for the journey,
• That any documentation needed to take a car, or towing vehicle, across the border are in order and valid,
• That their driver’s licenses and vehicle license discs don’t expire while they are away.
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The AA concluded: “Apart from the car, drivers also need to ensure they have the right attitude on the road. Having a car in a good condition is only half of the road safety equation. A driver with bad habits, such as talking on the cellphone while driving, or who passes other vehicles recklessly, is risking not their safety, but also that of their families and other road users."