Saturday, March 31, 2007

How to Drive Safely in the Australian Summer

A quick check-up can help prepare your car for the stress of high temperatures in the Australian summer and increase its reliability on road trips, whether they are long or short. To look at the range of new cars available at present log on to and browse the auto classifieds. Firstly, plan trips well to avoid unnecessary driving in extreme heat.


To help prevent dangerous and inconvenient tyre failure, examine tyres for uneven or excessive tread wear. Make sure all tyres, including the spare, are properly inflated and in good condition.


With the engine off, look for worn or cracked belts and damaged blistered or soft hoses. Inspect the antifreeze/coolant level and condition, making sure the proper 50/50 mixture of water and coolant.


Check motor oil level and condition. If driving under extreme conditions, such as very hot temperatures or towing a heavy trailer, switch to motor oil with higher viscosity. Check the owner's manual for specific oil recommendations.


A properly working air conditioning system also helps motorists keep their cool in summer heat.

When you run your air conditioner, you get much worse petrol consumption. Use your air conditioner sparingly. If you have a lower setting, use it. Turn it on until the car gets cool, then turn it off, and let the fan circulate the cool air. Never run your air conditioner with your windows open.

If needed, have the air conditioning serviced by a qualified technician. Do not use non-approved substitute refrigerants.


Because even properly maintained vehicles can break down, and you only want the best used car in Australia, check and you'll find free car listings that may help your search. In any Australian condition, RACV and the NRMA advise motorists to equip their vehicle with an emergency kit, containing at least the following items: A torch with extra batteries, warning devices such as flares or reflective triangles, jumper cables, a first-aid kit, extra water, and a mobile phone to get emergency assistance quickly.

You see, driving with precaution doesn't only keep you and your loved ones safe, it also lets you enjoy the scenery and enjoy the ride better!


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About The Author

Barbara Thorp is an article contributor for


ludo said...

What distinguishes Australian motoring from others is the immense distances, and the isolation of most of the continent from civilisation. It’s not called “the outback’ for nothing. When it gets to the point where one farmhouse is the only spot marked on the map for 200 km or so, and the prevailing daytime temperatures are between 45 and 52 degrees Celsius, you start to get an idea of what it’s all about. Boy scouts say “Be prepared”.

What causes problems, which result in people losing their lives is “The SECOND puncture”
Adventurers can cope with one (called the spare wheel) but run out of iniatives to deal with the second one. It’s called a tube and an airpump. Tubeless tyres cannot be filled with air with a mattress pump. It is not unknown for a tyre to be stuffed full of grass to get you to the next outpost.

The second cardinal sin is to tell no-one where you’re going, and when you expect to get there. The police are very helpful, and will look after you if given the chance. The third sin is to leave the vehicle, and try to walk to the next pitstop, in the heat of the day. A certain recipe for disaster. Stay with the car, but vehicle coolant tastes dreadful. Always carry sufficient water, and then drink some.

Realise that your safety depends on four tyre footprints, that low pressures which lengthen the footprint might get you through sandy soil, but at a greater risk of staking the sidewall, so navigate carefully. If you want to learn more about tyre punctures, and tyre fires, have a look at my blog ( quite informative. I’m going on a 10 day holiday in April, when it cools down to the mid-thirties inland, which will cover 4000 kilometres or so, half way to the Centre, and that’s a good day’s drive from Sydney- only 1200 km or so.
For those who consider buying new tyres for their trip, I recommend CarbonBlack (; a great place to look for the right tyres at the right price.

Dexter Nicholson said...

Well one of the hassles of summer is that it can get too hot to drive. Luckily most cars even public transportation have good air conditioning. I love to go to the mall during hot days but I don't like being stuck in traffic under the scorching sun. Its just too hot.