As the year draws to a close and you start planning your summer vacay, don’t forget that your vehicle’s road safety is firmly in your hands

Many vehicle owners choose to get their vehicles checked and serviced at this time of year in readiness for any planned road trips, or to start the new year. If you’re looking to invest that hard-earned bonus into vehicle repairs or servicing this summer, you should opt for quality automotive aftermarket brands recommended by a reputable, accredited workshop that knows your vehicle and uses the right products and parts to match.

“Whether it’s a trip to the coast, the mountains or on safari, your vehicle needs to pass the safety check,” says Lubin Ozoux, CEO of one of South Africa’s largest tyre manufacturing companies, Sumitomo Rubber South Africa, which manufactures the iconic Dunlop tyre brand.

A full pre-trip inspection or service at a reputable workshop, such as the official vehicle manufacturer’s facilities, is ideal. But, if this isn’t possible, it’s still crucial to give your vehicle a once-over inspection covering the four safety-critical components – brakes, suspension, tyres and visibility, which includes checks on your lights, windscreen and windscreen wipers.

Here are Dunlop’s recommended checks for safer road trips roads this holiday:

 Get your tyres checked

A check at a tyre dealership is quick and free, or you can do it yourself if you know what to look out for. Details of your vehicle’s optimal inflation pressure are usually affixed in the petrol flap, door post or described inside your owner’s manual. Have your spare tyre checked to ensure it is in working order and that your tyre-changing equipment is functional. A reputable tyre dealership or fitment centre should be able to advise you on correct tyre pressure and inflation, tread wear and depth and any tyre repair or replacement options to do before you hit the road on that trip.

Don’t fail your brake checks

If you concentrate on your brakes, you will be able to tell if they are in trouble. Look out for more give in the brake pedal than usual. A lack of sharpness in the response to braking is a definite sign that your brakes could need replacing, as well as any unhealthy sound coming from the brakes. If you have any doubts make your way back to the repair outlet for a proper inspection.

Check your windscreen

Another common mistake travellers make is failing to check that their windscreens are structurally sound. This is imperative to ensure it does not shatter if hit at high speed by any debris on the road. Also take the opportunity of an upcoming adventure to repair any chips and cracks in the windscreen.    

Check your wipers

Both your wipers and windscreen demisters should be checked to ensure they are in perfect working order ahead of any trips. While you’re at it, check that both your side mirrors are in working order as they are critical for smooth and safe lane-changes.

Double check lights

Check that all your lights are in perfect working condition as it is important for you to see and be seen on your trip, come, rain, shine, day or night. Do these checks at night so you can tell if they are dim. Also check your brake lights and replace all faulty bulbs.  

The responsibility to take the road safely lies in your hands, so make wise choices when getting your vehicle prepped and ready to hit the road this holiday, or to take you safely into the new year.

Visit www.dunloptyres.co.za to kickstart your summer escape and find loads of road trip ideas with Dunlop’s #TheBigDrive summer year-end promotion. From 22 November to 31 December 2021, customers who buy any 4 Dunlop passenger car, SUV, 4×4 or light truck tyres will receive a free pair of compact binoculars and discounted bookings with SANParks and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.