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6 car supplies and maintenance tips for a wintertime road trip

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Updated 2 Jun 2020

Jason Unrau

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Winter is a great time for a road trip in Australia, no matter what part of the country you’re in. Unlike other areas of the world that see frigid temperatures and depths of snow, the majority of Australia’s roads are a traveller’s paradise any time of the year.

It’s not often you’ll see snow in Australia, even in the dead of winter. However, the climate is completely different during the winter months of June through August, and the temperature dips down near the freezing mark.

That means you’ll need to equip your car with a few extra supplies to keep you safe, regardless of what you encounter.

1. Emergency Kit

You should have an emergency kit in your car at all times, no matter the season. If you’re hitting the open road, far from civilisation, make sure the first aid kit in your car is well-equipped.

An assortment of wipes, band-aids, bandages, tweezers, and medical tape can provide short-term health care in an accident or emergency situation.

2. Warm Blanket

You may not anticipate a breakdown, but you should be prepared for one, just in case. Keep a warm blanket in your car should you find yourself stuck in the outback.

Nights get cold and hypothermia can set in, even if it’s still above freezing. Keep your windows cracked open slightly and light a candle in your car for extra warmth.

3. Change of Clothes

Your adventurous exploring could result in a slip or fall, and you could get wet or dirty.

It’s more than just keeping clean and tidy – it’s also about keeping warm and dry.

Bring a change of clothes including socks and an extra pair of shoes or boots, even if it’s just a day trip.

4. Tyre Inspection

A light dusting of snow is as treacherous as ice. But if your tyres are in poor condition, you could find yourself spinning out or sliding into the ditch.

Before you head out on your road trip, check your tyre tread depth. If there’s less than 3mm of tread remaining, you should replace your tyres.

Additionally, check your tyre pressure. Low tyre pressure can compromise your safety as much as overworn tyres.

5. Wiper Blades

It may be an obvious statement, but rain is more common during the winter! Make sure you can keep your vision clear.

If your wipers streak when you try to clean your windscreen, you should replace your wiper blades. It’s an inexpensive maintenance item that can have a great impact on your road safety.

Also, top up your wiper fluid so you can clean your windscreen when it gets dirty.

6. Ice Scraper

In some areas, there’s a chance you’ll encounter a cold snap. In temperatures as high as 5C, your windscreen can frost up.

If you don’t have time to wait for your demister to clear your windscreen, you can scrape the frost off. If you forget an ice scraper, you can use the edge of an old credit or plastic loyalty card.

Before you head out on a winter road trip, have your car thoroughly inspected for safety. AutoGuru.com.au lets you search, compare and book from thousands of qualified mechanics across Australia. Boom!

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Written By

Jason Unrau

Jason is a Canadian automotive content writer with a background in the auto service industry, but he’s been hooked on cars and mechanics since childhood.

One of his first cars was an ’80 Mazda RX-7 that’s sorely missed to this day. A ’68 Ford Torino GT, a ’66 Ford Country Squire Woodie station wagon, and a ’96 Suzuki GSX-R 750 have spent time in his fleet of cars, bikes, and trucks over the past two decades.

Jason’s pride and joy is under construction – a turbocharged ’88 Mazda RX-7 convertible. Also on his resume is CASCAR official certification.