It’s summer again, and with no overseas travel there’s never been a better time for a great Kiwi road trip. Thanks to Suzuki reliability it’s easy to just jump in and go, but sometimes stuff happens, and it pays to be prepared. Here are some tips to help you become roadie ready.
Check under the hood
A service will cover most of these but it’s a good idea to have a look, check the fluids and get to know your car a little better. The things you’re looking for should be brightly coloured and easy to find:
ENGINE OIL LEVEL – It’s best to check this when the engine is warm, but not running. The dipstick has a yellow handle, pull it out, wipe with a clean rag or paper towel, push back in then pull out again. The oil level should sit between MAX and MIN marked on the stick.
COOLANT – You’re looking for a transparent white plastic bottle with the upper and lower limits marked on the outside. If you have to open the radiator cap, make sure the engine is cold. If additional coolant is required please see your Suzuki dealer for the correct coolant to add.
WIPER FLUID – this may not sound important but you don’t want it to suddenly become important when you get splashed by a passing truck or a bug goes splat right in the middle of your field of vision. Use proper solution (like Bars Bugs), plain water won’t work and dishwashing liquid can mark your paintwork.
Inspect your tyres
Check the pressures and condition when you fill up at the petrol station. Running the correct pressure (check driver’s inside door) helps you stay safe and maximise fuel efficiency. Don’t forget to check your spare as well.
Get some emergency tools
Alongside your spare wheel (if fitted) and jack, it’s a good idea to have jumper cables and a multi tool – useful in many emergency situations, like when you forget a bottle opener.
Put together a medical kit
Buy a pre-packed one or fill a Tupperware box yourself. A good start would be Band-Aids, bandages, scissors, Panadol, latex gloves and a roll of Duct tape – good for everything from patching punctured Lilos to strapping a broken arm.
Stash some water
Pop a couple of water bottles under the seats – it’s great for washing sticky hands, removing sand from feet, putting out small fires… water is free and has so many uses – you can even drink it.
Don’t forget your phone
In sticky situations your phone is your friend. It’s a torch, map, GPS, Candy Crush and of course, you can use it to call AA Roadside Assist. As long as it’s charged. So make sure to keep a spare cable in the glovebox.