Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Don’t be let down by your car this summer

Media Release 7 December 2012


Don’t be let down by your car this summer


Everyone wants to enjoy the summer, so the one thing you don’t want is a vehicle that breaks down, or worse still, suffers a mechanical failure that might put you, your passengers or even other road users at risk.

While modern cars are usually exceptionally reliable, they won’t stay that way on their own. As with any piece of equipment or machinery, maintain and care for your vehicle and it will generally return the favour. And, like any mechanical device, it’s most likely to fail when it’s highly stressed. The Motor Trade Association (MTA) says there are lots of things owners can do to reduce the chances of being let down by your car this summer.

Vehicle failure or problems often come when a vehicle is under stress. In summer that usually revolves around heat – either as a result of high ambient temperatures, a heavily loaded vehicle or stop-start driving when stuck in a queue. Not surprisingly, summer often sees some motorists caught up in all three at the same time.

If there is a minor problem with your vehicle, there’s a much higher probability that it will develop into something more major when the temperature rises.

A car engine usually operates at around 95°C, depending on the make and model of course. When that same vehicle is loaded with people and camping gear, is caught in a long line of stop-start traffic, and is crawling its way up a steep hill in 30°C plus heat – if problems are going to occur, it will often be at a time like this.

So, when you head out for your few days away this summer, make sure that your vehicle is fully prepared for those warmer temperatures. Some simple steps can help save you time, money and headaches during your trip:

• Consider a pre-trip inspection by an MTA technician; repairs can be more costly on the road. Ask them to check things like the air conditioning, cooling system, drive belts, hoses and clamps, brakes, along with the fundamentals like fluids, oil and water.

• High temperatures can be hard on your battery – get it checked to ensure it will last the distance.

• Check the condition and air pressure in all tyres, including the spare, to make sure they are roadworthy. Remember, heat is a tyre’s biggest enemy.

• Replace ragged wiper blades, and make sure the wash reservoir tank is full and you’ve added proper cleaning agents – not dishwashing liquid.

• Check all your lights are working. In the summer you may not use your lights very much, so that blown bulb can go unnoticed – until you need it.

• Make sure your sun visors are doing the job; glare from the sun, either directly or from other vehicles, can blind you temporarily.

• Be aware that you might need access to your spare at the most inconvenient time – so if you need to get to it, plan the stowage of luggage and gear to minimise any problems – and remember, it might not always be dry when you are trying to change your tyre.

• If you are towing, ensure your towbar and braking capability is up to the load you are hauling. Because of the strain towing can place on your car, it’s vital your cooling and lubrication systems are in top condition.

It’s also a good idea to have an emergency kit in your car, just in case you need it. It should include:

• jumper cables

• a jack and wheel-brace

• torch

• water for both the radiator and yourself (around two litres)

• blanket and towel

• emergency reflectors.

Summer is often the time people choose to try roads that are off the beaten track. By all means, enjoy the journey and take time to appreciate New Zealand’s scenery. Keep in mind though, that if you are trying to avoid those queues of fellow holidaymakers, the scenic route may not be the quickest, and if you do strike a problem, there may not be too many passers-by and your cell phone may not work – so plan your trip accordingly.

Heat and long days can lead to some drivers being on the road for longer than they should. Here are some tips to help avoid becoming drowsy while driving.

• Take breaks every two hours and if you feel tired, have difficulty focusing or just want to stretch your legs – pull over and have a walk around.

• If you can, share the driving with someone. Passengers can help look out for early warning signs of fatigue.

• Take a 15-to-20-minute nap. More than this can make you groggy for at least five minutes after awakening.

• Consume the equivalent of two cups of coffee (e.g. soft drinks, energy drinks, coffee, tea) but caffeine takes about 30 minutes to enter the bloodstream and will not greatly affect those who regularly consume it. And remember, stimulants are just that, they are not a substitute for proper rest.

• Don’t drive if you’re sleep deprived. Less than six hours sleep can triple your risk of driver fatigue.

• Don’t drive when you would normally be asleep – avoid driving through the night.

During the summer break, everyone wants to take advantage of the great weather. This means the roads are busier than ever so drivers need to be even more aware of the risks. By driving to the conditions, planning your journey and having patience with other road users, everyone can stay safe on the roads this summer.
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Gordon Campbell: On Chuck Berry (And James Comey, And Bill English)

Back when many people were still treating rock’n’roll as a passing fad – was calypso going to be the new thing? – Chuck Berry knew that it had changed popular music forever. What is even more astonishing is that this 30-ish black r&b musician from a middle class family in St Louis could manage to recreate the world of white teenagers, at a time when the very notion of a “teenager” had just been invented. More>>

Howard Davis Review:
The Baroque Fusion Of L'arpeggiata

Named after a toccata by German composer Girolamo Kapsberger, L'Arpeggiata produces its unmistakable sonority mainly from the resonance of plucked strings, creating a tightly-woven acoustic texture that is both idiosyncratic and immediately identifiable. Director Christina Pluhar engenders this distinctive tonality associated with the ensemble she founded in 2000 by inviting musicians and vocalists from around the world to collaborate on specific projects illuminated by her musicological research. More>>

African Masks And Sculpture: Attic Discovery On Display At Expressions Whirinaki

Ranging from masks studded with nails and shards of glass to statues laden with magical metal, the works are from ethnic groups in nine countries ranging from Ivory Coast to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: We’re All Lab Rats

A couple of years ago, there were reports that Silicon Valley executives were sending their children to tech-free schools. It was a story that dripped of irony: geeks in the heart of techno-utopia rejecting their ideology when it came to their own kids. But the story didn’t catch on, and an awkward question lingered. Why were the engineers of the future desperate to part their gadgets from their children? More>>

  • CensusAtSchool - Most kids have no screen-time limits
  • Netsafe - Half of NZ high school students unsupervised online

  • Obituary: Andrew Little Remembers Murray Ball

    “Murray mined a rich vein of New Zealand popular culture and exported it to the world. Wal and Dog and all the other Kiwi characters he crafted through Footrot Flats were hugely popular here and in Australia, Europe and North America." More>>

    ALSO:

    Organised Choas: NZ Fringe Festival 2017 Awards

    Three more weeks of organised chaos have come to an end with the Wellington NZ Fringe Arts Festival Awards Ceremony as a chance to celebrate all our Fringe artists for their talent, ingenuity, and chutzpah! More>>

    ALSO:

    Wellington.Scoop: Wellington Writer Wins $US165,000 Literature Prize

    Victoria University of Wellington staff member and alumna Ashleigh Young has won a prestigious Windham-Campbell Literature Prize worth USD$165,000 for her book of essays Can You Tolerate This? More>>

    ALSO:

    Scoop Review Of Books: Excerpt - Ice Bear: The Cultural History Of An Arctic Icon

    “During the last decade the image of the polar bear has moved in the public imagination from being an icon of strength, independence and survival in one of the most climatically extreme of world environments, to that of fragility, vulnerability and more generally of a global environmental crisis.” More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Culture
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news