Car care tips

RACV RoyalAuto Magazine

This page contains archived content

To visit the new RoyalAuto website you can use the link below. 

Your car is your best friend on a big trip. RACV has plenty of ways to ensure it’s ready for the road.

Just because you’ve packed the car with maps, luggage and your favourite music, it doesn’t mean you’re totally ready for the big road-trip. Have you checked the condition of the car?

Take good care of it with some basic but essential maintenance before you leave your driveway for your open-road odyssey.

RACV proudly stands behind our Accredited Auto Care Centre network, which repairs vehicles at more than 40 locations around Victoria.

Get a grip

Are your tyres in good shape? The tread on the tyres is designed to clear water from the contact area with the road and a minimum groove depth of 1.5mm is vital. If it’s any less, or if you find bald patches (rendering the tyre unroadworthy) or uneven wear, you must replace them.

Before you leave, check your tyre pressures when they are cold. Minimum pressures are usually found on a placard on the driver’s door jamb or the glovebox lid.

And don’t forget you have five tyres, not four – give the spare the same attention. And if your spare is a space-saver, be aware of its speed and distance restrictions.

See RACV’s tyre maintenance tips.

Light it up

Headlights are ineffectual if they have blown globes, aren’t aligned properly or even if the outer shield is dirty or covered in bugs. Check all lights are working, and ask for the headlight aim to be checked when you have the car serviced.

Braking point

Just because your car was serviced recently doesn’t mean your brakes are in good shape – not all services include a brake check. If you’ve noticed even the slightest deterioration in braking performance or anything unusual (be it an unusual sound or an unusual sensation as you engage the brakes), get them checked by an expert immediately.

Batteries are included

The average car battery only lasts around 3½ years – and possibly less if you usually take short trips in stop/start traffic. If your battery is ‘getting on’ or if you’ve had difficulty starting the car, get your battery checked by expert technicians before you set off.

RACV Batteries’ mobile specialists will check your battery’s health. And if it needs replacing, then they can ensure that you get the right type of battery for your car on the spot.

Your window TO the world

Don’t just give your windscreen a quick wipe before you leave – thoroughly clean it inside and out.

If you spot any chips or cracks, they’re just the beginning of a bigger problem, so get them seen to. RACV Auto Glass can repair or replace your windscreen, as well as side and rear glass.

Also ensure your wiper blades are properly fitted and in good condition. The rubber should be pliable, and the wipers should hug the windscreen closely as they wipe, leaving no streaks or untouched patches.


RACV members get discounts on our mobile car care services – and we come to you. RACV Batteries: call 13 11 11. RACV Auto Glass: call 13 72 28. For full details, go to


Written by RACV
April 01, 2015