Camping in the Australian outback is an experience unlike any other. The vast open spaces, stunning scenery, and unique wildlife make it a popular destination for adventurers from all over the world. However, before embarking on a trip to the outback, it is crucial to ensure that your vehicle is in good auto electrical condition.
The Australian outback is a harsh and unforgiving environment that can be challenging for even the most experienced drivers. The roads are often unpaved, and the terrain can be rough and unpredictable. In addition, the outback is known for its extreme temperatures, with scorching heat during the day and freezing temperatures at night. All of these factors can put a strain on your vehicle’s auto electrical system.
Preparing Your Vehicle for a Safe and Enjoyable Camping Trip in the Outback
One of the most important components of your vehicle’s auto electrical system is the battery. Your battery is responsible for starting your vehicle and powering all of the electrical components, including the headlights, air conditioning, entertainment system and any aftermarket accessories that you might have added. If your battery is weak, damaged, or malfunctioning it may result in an unfavorable breakdown, which can be a risky and daunting experience, especially when you are in a remote area of Australia and beyond the reach of cellular network coverage or road side assistance.
Here are some ways you can test your vehicles battery:
Use a voltmeter: One of the easiest ways to check if your battery is working correctly is by using a voltmeter. Attach the voltmeter to your battery terminals and check the voltage reading. A fully charged battery should have a voltage reading between 12.4 and 12.7 volts.
Check the battery’s age: Batteries have a limited lifespan, and if your battery is more than three years old, it may be time to replace it. Check the manufacturing date on the battery label to determine its age.
Look for signs of corrosion: Corrosion on the battery terminals can interfere with the electrical connection and prevent the battery from charging properly. Check the terminals for signs of white or greenish powder buildup, and use a wire brush to remove any corrosion.
Test the battery’s cranking power: A battery’s cranking power determines how well it can start the engine. If your engine is slow to start or struggles to start, it may be a sign that the battery’s cranking power is low. A auto electrician can perform a load test to determine the battery’s cranking power.
Keep the battery charged: A battery that is not fully charged can lose its capacity over time. If you don’t drive your vehicle regularly, consider using a battery charger to keep the battery charged.
Vehicle lighting is an essential component of a safe and enjoyable camping trip. Adequate lighting ensures visibility during nighttime driving and allows you to navigate through challenging terrain safely and to help keep an eye out for wildlife when travelling in the evening.
Checking that all your vehicle’s lights are working is an important safety measure that should be done regularly. With the help of a buddy, you can perform a simple check. First, park your car in a safe, ideally in front of a dark wall and turn on the ignition. Next, turn on the headlights and verify that both the high and low beams are working. Then, check the brake lights by having someone stand behind your car while you depress the brake pedal. Additionally, you can check the turn signals by engaging both the left and right signals while walking around your car to verify that each light is flashing. Finally, check the taillights and license plate lights.
While your vehicle’s lighting may be working correctly, there are upgrades available to maximise the performance.
Upgrading your vehicle’s lighting to LED lights can offer several advantages, including improved visibility, enhanced energy efficiency, and reduced maintenance costs. LED lights produce brighter and whiter light, which can increase your visibility on the road and in off-road situations. LED lights also consume less energy than traditional halogen bulbs, which can result in improved fuel efficiency and longer battery life. Moreover, LED lights require less frequent maintenance than halogen bulbs, which can save you money on replacement costs and reduce the need for frequent bulb changes. By upgrading to LED lights, you can improve your vehicle’s overall performance, and increase your safety on the road.
Voltaic is a leading provider of high-quality automotive lighting products, designed to enhance your vehicle’s performance and safety. Some of the products offered by Voltaic include:
Direct replacement LED globe upgrades: These LED bulbs are designed to be a direct replacement for your vehicle’s traditional halogen bulbs, offering brighter and whiter light that improves visibility and safety.
Spotlights: Voltaic offers a range of powerful spotlights that provide a focused beam of light, perfect for off-road driving and navigating through challenging terrain.
Light bars: Voltaic’s light bars are an excellent option for improving your vehicle’s visibility and safety during nighttime driving. These LED light bars produce a bright and wide beam of light that illuminates the road ahead.
Work lights: Voltaic’s work lights are ideal for illuminating the area around your vehicle during camping trips and other outdoor activities. These lights are compact, providing bright and reliable illumination whenever you need it.
Camping lights: At Voltaic our favourite Best on Ground, all rounder light is the HARDKORR 4-pack U-Lite a powerful 155 lumen output from a lightweight package, inbuilt lithium battery, bug-reducing orange light option, magnetic back and durable elastic strap, the possible uses for the Hardkorr U-Lite™ Dual Colour Lantern are virtually endless.
All of these products are designed to be energy-efficient, durable, and long lasting, making them an excellent investment for anyone looking to enhance their vehicle’s lighting performance.
Another essential component of your vehicle’s auto electrical system is the alternator. The alternator is responsible for charging your battery while you drive, ensuring that it has enough power to run all of the electrical components. If your alternator is not functioning correctly, your battery may not be charged properly, and you may find yourself stranded in the middle of the outback. some basic checks you should do before traveling are volt meter check. test your battery voltage with car off then with your car running under load this means with headlights on. The voltage should increase with the car running and light on to above the initial reading dumb alternators should read from 13.4 to 13.8v. smart alternators veriry
Here are some telltale signs that your alternator may be failing:
Dimming headlights: If your headlights are dimming or flickering, it may be a sign that your alternator is failing. A weak or failing alternator may not be providing enough power to the vehicle’s electrical system, causing the headlights to dim or flicker.
Warning light: Many vehicles have a warning light on the dashboard that indicates a problem with the charging system. If this light comes on, it may indicate a problem with the alternator or the battery.
Strange noises: A failing alternator may produce strange noises, such as a grinding or whining sound. These noises may be caused by a loose or worn-out belt or a failing bearing inside the alternator.
Electrical problems: A failing alternator may cause electrical problems, such as a dead battery or an inability to start the vehicle. This is because the alternator is responsible for charging the battery and powering the vehicle’s electrical system.
If you notice any of these signs, it is important to have your vehicle inspected by a professional auto electrician as soon as possible. Ignoring a failing alternator can lead to more severe electrical problems and potentially leave you stranded
Other critical components
Other critical components of your vehicle’s auto electrical system include the starter motor, ignition switch, and wiring. These components work together to ensure that your vehicle starts smoothly and runs efficiently. If any of these components are not functioning correctly, your vehicle may not start, or you may experience issues with your electrical system.
In addition to ensuring your vehicle’s electrical system is in good condition, it’s also important to have your vehicle checked over mechanically before embarking on a camping trip in the Australian outback. This includes checking the brakes, suspension, tires, and other mechanical components to ensure they are in good working order. By doing so, you can prevent potential breakdowns and enjoy a safer and more comfortable driving experience.
At Voltaic, we understand the importance of maintaining your vehicle’s overall performance, which is why we offer mechanical services through our brother company, Elite Tune Perth. Elite Tune Perth is a leading provider of mechanical services, including vehicle inspections, maintenance, and repairs as well as performance upgrades. By taking care of your vehicle’s electrical and mechanical needs under the same premises, we can provide a comprehensive service that ensures your vehicle is in top condition before your camping trip in the Australian outback.
Don’t take any chances with your safety on the road – trust Voltaic and Elite Tune Perth to keep your vehicle running smoothly and reliably.