Road conditions in the Territory can change rapidly, particularly in the wet season from October to May. Always check road conditions before travelling by calling free call 1800 246 199 (within Australia) or online. At AANT we know only too well how uncomfortable it is to breakdown in torrential rain. Before the Wet check your car battery, brakes and tyres, and clean your windows to minimise the risk of breaking down or being involved in an accident.
A flat battery is the most common cause of breakdown in extreme weather – and the most avoidable. With batteries, a little TLC goes a long way. Even ‘low maintenance’ or ‘maintenance free’ batteries need attention. Top up your battery with distilled water (not tap water) so the cells don’t dry out. Any corrosion (looks like white or green fungus) around the terminals should be wiped away. Place newspaper or cardboard on the ground under the battery to protect the area from drippingbattery acid. Next, raid the kitchen cupboard for some bicarbonate of soda and make a paste of this by adding water. Brush it onto the terminals and rinse off with hot water. The corrosion should then come off pretty easily. If not, it might be time to invest in a set of new terminals.
Your brakes can be tested responsibly and within the law on a quiet, sealed road that’s free from oil and water. Apply the brakes fairly hard and take note if the car pulls to one side or if the brake pedal goes close to the floor. If you notice anything unusual, have it checked with a brake specialist immediately. Faulty brakes can be deadly!
All tyres, including the spare, should be inflated to the correct minimum pressure. Incorrectly inflated tyres limit your car’s braking efficiency and its overall handling. Make sure the tyres have plenty of tread. Most tyres are fitted with ‘tread wear indicators’ (small block of tread inside the groove). Once these indicators are being worn, it’s time for new tyres. For further advice about tyres, read our 10-point tyre checklist
Clean windscreen & windows
During storms visibility can be difficult. Dont make matters worse by having dirty windscreen and windows. For maximum visibility all windows should be cleaned regularly with either a chamois or a sheet of newspaper with methylated spirits. If tinted film has been applied to your windows, ensure you follow the manufacturers recommendations for cleaning.
Service your car regularly
Ensure your vehicle is running as it should by having it serviced professionally at regular intervals. Ask for a quote from the AANT Approved Repairer in your local area.