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Vehicle Road Trip Safety Checklist

Our Holiday Season Road Trip Safety Checklist

Preparing to go away this holiday season? We understand the importance of ensuring that your vehicle is safe, running efficiently and ready for the trip ahead. We’ve put together a short checklist for you to go through before you and your family get on the road.

Vehicle maintenance

How to make sure you car is safe before driving long distances


Tyres are the only point of contact between the road and the vehicle and their operating condition is critical to ensure a safe and efficient drive.

  • Check the air pressure of each tyre when they are cold – recommended tyre inflation pressure can be found on a label near the driver’s door pillar, inside the glovebox lid or in the owner’s manual.
  • Check the tread depth – less than 1.5mm (the legal minimum) can reduce your vehicles stopping performance and overall grip.
  • Check for any uneven wear across the tyres indicating poor alignment or incorrect inflation – poor wheel alignment can compromise the tyre’s ability to grip the road surface, and lead to increased tyre wear and fuel consumption.

An annual wheel alignment from a reputable provider is a low-cost way to ensure your tyres are safe and to extend their life. StarCard not only offers you savings on fuel and items in-store, but also on a wide range of servicing and repairs at more than 5,000 locations around Australia. You can learn more about StarCard Services & Repairs here.


Brakes generally require the wheels to be removed to be checked thoroughly and it is recommended that an authorised repairer does this type of work. However, you can also perform some simple checks to determine if the brakes need further attention.

  • Do your brakes squeak on application of the pedal?
  • Does the pedal travel all the way to the floor upon application?
  • Does the pedal pulsate when the brakes are applied?
  • Are there any fluid leaks near the wheels or is the brake fluid low?

If you recognise any of these issues with your braking system, consult your local authorised repairer for immediate rectification. StarCard Services & Repairs gives you access to a wide range of servicing and repairs at more than 5000 locations around Australia. You can learn more about StarCard Services & Repairs here.

Top up brake fluid is also available in convenient sized bottles from your local Caltex service station. Find your local Caltex here.


It’s important to use the correct fuel for your engine to ensure it maintains efficient running. A label on the inside of the fuel flap will indicate the minimum grade of fuel that is recommended for your vehicle. Using a lower grade of fuel than recommended can lead to engine damage. Using higher grade fuels, such as Vortex 95 and Vortex 98 can clean and protect your engine as you drive and are recommended for all petrol vehicles. Our range of Vortex petrol and Diesel fuels are designed to clean the critical components of fuel system to remove built up carbon deposits and maintain the efficient running of your engine.

A list of vehicle maintenance checks before long drives

Oils and coolants

The engine coolant is critical component in keeping the engine temperature within an optimum range whilst driving. The summer heat and towing can both impact on the operating temperature of the engine. Check the level when the engine is cold to ensure you have enough to keep your engine running smoothly.

The oil inside your engine is designed to keep metal parts gliding against each other smoothly. Insufficient oil in the engine will lead to more heat, accelerated wear of components, increased fuel consumption and ultimately a very costly engine seizure. Check the oil level when the engine is warm – leave it a few minutes after switching off for the oil to settle and top up the oil to ensure the level is closer to the maximum.

The correct grade of oil can be found in the owner’s manual or you can consult the oil finder section of the Caltex website.

A selection of popular grades of engine oil and coolants to suit petrol and diesel engines is available in top up ad full fill packs at your local Caltex service station. Find your local Caltex here.