Perth to Melbourne Drive: How to Prepare Your Car for the Long Trip

The Perth to Melbourne drive will take you to some of the best spots along the bottom of Australia. Without any stops, you’d be looking at 36 straight hours of driving to complete the 3,500km journey. If you were thinking of making the trek from west to east, it’s important to check that your car is fully up to the task at hand.

A car breakdown on your daily commute is bad enough, but that is nothing compared to being stranded in the middle of the Australian outback. To avoid your trip being ruined by something easily preventable, be sure to complete these car maintenance tasks before you set out.

Air Conditioning

The last thing you want to happen while trekking through the outback on a hot Australian summer’s day is your air conditioning system failing. Australia’s harsh weather patterns, especially in the outback, can take a toll on you and your vehicle. To ensure your car’s cooling system is functioning effectively it’s imperative that your air conditioning is regassed annually.

Regassing involves the removal of the old refrigerant gas from your unit and replacing with a new refrigerant. This requires gas to be removed from the system, testing for leaks, and re-pressurising and re-filling the system.

Carrying out a car aircon regas is more complex than a few tweaks. We recommend you consult a car aircon expert to conduct the process as it can be difficult, time-consuming and dangerous. If not performed properly, damage to yourself and your vehicle can be costly.


Nothing will stop you on your Perth to Melbourne drive like a flat or broken battery. On average, a car battery should last you for roughly 4 years. If you start noticing sluggish sounds coming from your vehicle’s engine when it starts, or your headlights are beginning to dim, it’s time to have your battery checked.

If your car battery is struggling, it’s often due to either terminal corrosion or it’s on its last legs. Corrosion at the terminals will restrict the flow of power in and out of the battery. It’s best practice to check your battery terminals regularly to ensure that they are corrosion-free and the positive and negative leads are tight.

If there is little terminal corrosion and your car is still showing signs of battery struggle, call into your nearest Autospark location for a free battery check. Our friendly and experienced team will examine your car’s battery to check it’s overall health and lifespan so you can have peace of mind when undertaking the Perth to Melbourne drive.


Before you head off on the Perth to Melbourne drive, be sure to inspect all of your vehicle lights. Having even one non-functioning headlight can make driving at night very dangerous. Are your high and low headlights, brake lights, tail lights and front, rear and side turn indicators all working correctly? If any of the globes have blown or are beginning to dim, be sure to replace them before you begin your trip.

Dirty and murky headlights are almost as bad as broken headlights as they can significantly reduce visibility when driving at night. Not only will you not be able to see clearly, but other road users will also find it harder to see your vehicle on the road. If your headlights need cleaning because of a thick layer of mud and dirt, an easy fix is to simply wash it clean with a cloth and water. If some elbow grease doesn’t improve the clarity of your headlights, consult your local Autospark location for a free vehicle headlight check.

australian outback with kangaroo sign


Few parts on your car will be as important to you as the brakes. Most modern vehicles will have disc brakes and a set of heat-resistant pads on all four wheels. These brake pads grip the spinning brake rotor when you push down on your brake pedal, using friction to bring your car to a stop.

Over time your brake pads will wear away with use, eventually becoming too thin to work effectively. You can usually tell when your brake pads need replacing due to the screeching noise they make when you use your brake pedal. This screeching is caused by the wear indicator, a small piece of metal attached to the brake pad that contacts the brake rotor when the pad material has been worn down to a low level. In other words, noisy brakes aren’t something to mess around with. If you hear that sound when you push on your brake pedal, it’s best to have them checked out by a professional like Autospark as soon as possible. That way you know that your Perth to Melbourne drive will be a safer one.

The 3,500-kilometre open road between Perth and Melbourne is one of the best (and longest) road trip adventures in Australia. The trip will take you across the entire southern coastline of Australia, through charming towns, stunning beaches, and incredible wineries.

Before you hit the road, it’s important to first ensure your car is in peak working condition. Autospark is one of the largest automotive electrical operators in Western Australia with over 30+ years experience in all areas of automotive electrics diagnosis and repair. Our branches are equipped with the latest equipment to aid us in providing an exceptional service at a competitive price. Contact your local Autospark branch for an auto electric audit, or one of our mechanical branches for a general or log book service today!