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Let’s prepare your vehicle for the holiday road trip

A brown haired girl driving on a scenic route with her head and hand sticking out of the car.

The year-end holiday season is here and it is time for all of us to take a well-deserved break after a whole year of working our necks off. One of the best ways to unwind is by taking a scenic road trip to solitude, away from the commotion of the city.

Other than general health and financial conditions, the most important aspect of a road trip is the vehicle condition. It doesn’t have to be fancy and new. You just need to pay special attention to some important aspects such as engine oil, coolant, and tyres for a safe and smooth driving experience.

Make sure there is enough engine oil

A woman pouring engine oil into the engine.

The engine oil is the lubricant that cleans, cools, and protects the moving parts of the engine. It keeps the engine parts running smoothly and maintains the combustion temperature.

Checking the engine oil is simple. You just need to use the dipstick.

  1. Park your car at ground level.
  2. Ensure your car is cool.
  3. Open the bonnet.
  4. Locate the dipstick, which is usually yellow or orange.
  5. Clean the dipstick and check the oil levels between the minimum and maximum marks.
  6. Dip it back into the oil tank for reading.
A yellow dipstick.

The oil level needs to be in between the minimum and maximum levels. Low engine oil will cause corrosion in the engine. In the long run, it will cause the valves to burn, seals to dry out, and internal parts to heat up, eventually leading to engine failures. Too much engine oil is also problematic because it will cause excessive pressure in the crankshaft component, causing it to leak.

Keep the car cool with enough coolant

A distressed woman in front of a smoking open car bonnet.

Coolant (also known as antifreeze) prevents the car from overheating. Other than costly permanent damage, an overheated car is disastrous as it could lead to a violent and explosive vehicle breakdown.

Spare a few life-saving minutes to check your coolant before embarking on a trip.

  1. Make sure your car is cool.
  2. Open the bonnet.
  3. Locate the coolant reservoir.
  4. Ensure the coolant level is between the minimum and maximum marks.
A pair of hands opening a coolant reservoir.

While a lack of coolant can cause overheating, too much coolant can lead to electrical damage if the excess overflown coolant comes in contact with engine wires.

Make sure your tyres aren’t tired

2 pairs of legs on a wet pavement, with 1 person trying to change one of the car tyres.

Tyres keep us moving, literally. Good tyres can guarantee a good journey, while bad tyres can lead to an uncomfortable drive. Underinflated tyres cause sluggish and difficult handling while overinflated tyres make the car unstable, especially at high speed. To check your tyre’s air pressure, all you have to do is push your thumb down on the tyre. Underinflated tyres are soft while overinflated tyres will be extremely stiff.

Other than the air pressure, you must also check the tyre’s appearance. If the tyre is worn out with faded tread, it is advisable to have it replaced before the trip. Worn-out tyres are unable to produce strong grips and will cause the car to slip and skid. Bulging and cracked tyres must also be replaced immediately to avoid accidents that can lead to critical injuries or even death.

Don’t forget to check the spare tyres as well.

Check your road tax and motor insurance validity

A few orang hazard cones lined up in the middle of a road.

Law enforcement roadblocks are fairly common during the holiday season. Therefore, it is essential to make sure that your road tax is still valid to avoid a hefty fine. It is best to check on the road tax validity at least a week before embarking on your journey. The Setel app offers a quick and easy way to renew your road tax and motor insurance. If there is no issue, your road tax will be ready within 3 working days. As a cherry on top, you’ll get up to 3% road tax cashback (valid till 31 December 2023) and up to RM300 vehicle insurance cashback – which can be utilised on fuel, parking, vehicle insurance, Kedai Mesra, Deliver2Me, and other purchases through Setel QR and DuitNow QR.

3% Setel Cashback on selected features.
Up to RM300 Setel Cashback on motor insurance.

Simple vehicle inspections can be easily conducted at home. However, if you’re living in high-rise residences such as apartments or condominiums, you are welcome to check your car at the PETRONAS station. We have tyre inflators as well as engine oil and coolants at Kedai Mesra – for which you’ll earn 3x Mesra points if you pay with Setel.

An illustration of 3 customers and 1 cashier at a petrol station engaging in the Semua Boleh Setel campaign.

But if you have the time and resources, you can get your car examined by professionals at vehicle service centres. Maximise savings with 3% cashback by sending your car to one of Setel’s automotive merchants.

A list of workshops that accept Setel as a payment method.

Avoid catastrophe, prioritise safety, check your car before starting your journey.

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