16 December 2016 · Motoring Tips & Advice

Avoid a breakdown this summer | Phil Gilbert Toyota

1. Check Your Tyres

To check if you have enough tread on your tyres, measure the depth of the tread and look for wear bars on your tyres. Your tyre tread should be at least 1.6 millimetres to meet the legal minimum. If you’re going travelling, raise that minimum to 2 millimetres or more. Wear bars begin to show on your tyres when they are becoming threadbare. If you can see wear bars, you need new tyres now.

While you’re looking at your tyres, remember to check their pressure. Under-inflated tyres will slow you down and can sometimes explode.

2. Wheel Alignment

As well as checking your tyres, it’s important to have your Toyota’s wheel alignment checked, especially if you’ve been noticing tell-tale signs such as a vibrating car or drifting steering. Improperly aligned wheels slow you down, reduce fuel efficiency, and place extra strain on your tyres and engine.

3. Check Your Brakes

It is essential to test your brakes regularly, especially before a trip. Find a low-traffic area and get up to speed before stopping quickly. If it takes more than 30 metres to stop, or if you notice strange noises or grinding sounds, visit a mechanic. If you’ve already noticed symptoms, you can skip the tests and head straight to a professional. Speaking of safety, check your car's seat belts as well. Make sure they unreel and retract after you buckle them and check for excessive wear and fraying.

4. Don't Forget Your Battery

A flat battery can be a real hassle, either delaying your trip or stopping you in your tracks. It’s important to have the health of both your battery and the car’s charging system checked regularly. Also, cover the basics – don’t leave headlights or interior lights on for extended periods. If you’re travelling over a few days this is especially important. Use post-it notes on the dashboard to remind you, if necessary.

5. Keep Your Car Serviced

Whether your car is brand new, near new, or used, regular servicing by a qualified and professional team is essential.

Regular servicing will mean potential problems are resolved before they become major issues. You should have scheduled services every six months and it’s worth booking an extra service right before a big trip. This will ensure your car is running properly, that any problems are caught before you hit the road, and that all your oils and fluids are topped up. If you need a service for your Toyota in Sydney, get in touch with Phil Gilbert Toyota.

6. Be Prepared

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees in life and sometimes things just go wrong. Even if you take all these steps and more, your car might still experience holiday hiccups.

At Phil Gilbert, we offer a free, comprehensive accident assistance program with every purchase of a new or used Toyota – because it’s always good to have a backup plan. To find your next car or enquire about this program, contact our team today.