Check Your Car Before Holidays

Check Your Car Before Holidays

With the holiday season nearly upon us and with the added excitement of state borders reopening to interstate travellers, what better way to enjoy the newfound freedoms than with a holiday road trip. Perhaps you are going to visit relatives you have been unable to see in so long, or perhaps you’re going to see a friend you have not seen for sometime, or perhaps you are just going to catch up with that favourite place you love so much and have been unable to see. Whatever the reason for your adventure, there is nothing more Australian than a summer road trip.

When planning your holiday road trip adventure, of course you will have a list of all the important things to take with you such as your favourite surfboard, however, oftentimes things are overlooked and are a crucial part of preparation for your adventure that can end it before it has even begun, or worse still, leave you stuck on the side of the road taking up valuable relaxation time and leaving you with headaches you don’t want. This crucial part of planning your trip is of course ensuring that your vehicle is in tip-top condition and ready for the adventure as much as you are.

The team at VAR Automotive are looking forward to you enjoying your summer road trip as much as you are, with the team of professionally trained mechanics sharing some of the most common and yet overlooked basics to ensure your vehicle is ready for a summer adventure.

Pink Slip & Registration

We should all know the importance of only ever driving a car that is currently registered with both a pink slip and CTP (Compulsory Third Party), as not only is this important to obey the law and avoid unnecessary fines, however is also important in the event of an accident in which any sort of injury or harm occurs to a person.

In the lead up to the holiday season and with the excitement of a holiday road trip building, this could potentially be easily overlooked and could end up being especially expensive. With the double demerit periods and increase in New South Wales highway patrol on the state’s roads during this period it is most definitely not something to forget about.

Current fines for driving an unregistered vehicle in Australian states are;

  • New South Wales – $607
  • Victoria – $758
  • Queensland – $487
  • South Australia – $374
  • Western Australia – $250
  • Tasmania – $285
  • The Northern Territory – $300 for less than a month past registration date and $800 if it has been longer than one month and less than twelve months

With many RMS approved vehicle registration stations closed for a period of time during the holiday season, it is important to plan in advance and ensure that your registration is sorted without leaving things to the last minute.

Being an RMS approved inspection station VAR Automotive are more than happy to help out with your registration requirements, so don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Tyres, Brakes & Wheel Alignment

Apart from the frustrations of having a flat tyre on your holiday road trip leaving you with the frustrations and possible dangerous situation of needing to change this on the side of a busy road or highway, it is also essential to ensure that tyre pressures are correct for the type of vehicle in which you are travelling in and to also ensure they are correct for the weight being transported (if you intent on towing a caravan or trailer or have the back of the card loaded up, tyre pressures will need to be adjusted).

Ensuring the correct tyre pressure will not only help your tyres perform optimally and as safely as possible (especially on long trips where the tyres will reach higher temperatures), but will also improve fuel performance and as such means you can spend your money on those little holiday extras as opposed to unnecessary fuel.

Ensuring that your brakes are working properly could be the difference between arriving safely at your destination or not so safely at your destination. It is important to ensure that the brake pedal is not spongy, the brake pads are free of dirt, debris and rust and that brake fluid levels are topped up correctly. If you’re hearing a squeaking sound as you are braking prior to leaving for your holiday road trip, this is a red flag that you are in urgent need of a brake service before leaving.

Having correctly aligned wheels both front and rear will not only make your drive more pleasant, however, this will also avoid unnecessary wear and tear on your tyres meaning that they will ultimately last longer, and correctly aligned wheels will also be less of a drain on fuel consumption.

At VAR Automotive, our professional team undertakes regular tyre services, brake services and wheel alignments so make sure to contact us today so your tyres, brakes and wheels are ready for your holiday road trip.


As water is the coolant to the human body stopping you from becoming dehydrated and overheated, a car’s radiator is the coolant to the engine and is what ensures that the engine doesn’t become dehydrated and overheated. Radiator leaks and cracks in radiator valves are a common and unfortunate problem that is often overlooked, so it is important to ensure that radiator fluids are correct and topped up as needed and that there are no leaks in the radiator system.

An overheated radiator will most likely leave you feeling a bit overheated too, and this is simple to avoid by simply contacting us at VAR Automotive and giving your engine and coolant system a once over before heading on your holiday road trip.

Wipers & Windscreens

As beautiful and sunny as the summer weather can often be, we also know that a late afternoon heavy rain shower or even storm is a common occurrence. Being caught driving in the rain can be challenging at times, and a bit of a nerve racking experience for some. By ensuring that your windscreen is clean, and wiper blades aren’t dirty or worn down as well as wiper jets working properly and windscreen fluid is topped up this can ensure that you have optimal visibility when you need it the most.

If your windscreen wipers and system are in need of a bit of TLC, contact us at VAR Automotive and we’ll make sure everything is in working order before your holiday road trip. Think of your car’s windscreen wipers like taking an umbrella outside when it is cloudy, you may not need them, however if you do you’ll be more than thank you they are in perfect working order.

Fluids & Lubricants

Prior to heading out on any long trip, especially a holiday road trip, it is important to ensure that all the most crucial fluid levels are topped up to ensure any unwanted surprises (the last thing you want is to be driving along the highway halfway between towns and the oil light comes on). Ensuring that engine oil is fresh and full, radiator coolants, brake fluids, and windscreen wiper fluids are filled up correctly can save you from a number of potential holiday road trip mishaps.

Steering & Suspension

Does your ride seem to be a little rougher than what it should be when driving around town on a daily basis, or does there seem to be a bit more movement when turning than what there should be? If this is the case then this could mean that there is an issue with your vehicle’s steering and/ or suspension. This may not be a major issue driving short distances on a daily basis, however when travelling long distances and potentially at high speeds even the slightest suspension problem can become magnified and at the least make the trip a bit more bumpy than what it should be.

For a nice smooth ride on your holiday road trip, contact us at VAR Automotive, and book in a steering and suspension service so you can enjoy your trip in comfort.

Air Conditioning

Travelling long distances in the summer heat can sometimes become a bit uncomfortable and even worse when there are the standard delays caused by holiday traffic on either side of popular holiday dates. Naturally, you will want your holiday roadtrip to be as cool as possible, so having your air conditioning serviced may mean the difference between a cool trip or a heated situation.

Safety Basics

Along with all the mechanical checks to ensure that your holiday road trip is as smooth, comfortable and disruption free as possible, let’s not forget basic safety and courtesy on the road so everyone can enjoy their holiday road trips without drama, always;

  • Keep a safe distance between yourself and other road users especially when driving on highways and freeways and in wet weather.
  • Do not speed.
  • Remember to take a break every 2 hours to prevent fatigue.
  • Remember that during the holiday period there may be more traffic on the roads and trips may take a little longer, there is no need to speed to make up lost time.
  • If you are transporting children ensure that child restraints and seats are properly fitted and in working order.


From the team at VAR Automotive we wish you and your loved ones a safe happy holiday season and holiday road trip and for any mechanical needs contact us today and we’ll take care of the work for you.