Rules for Towing

  • By 100001025284
  • 15 Dec, 2016
Towing a trailer requires additional knowledge and skill. All trailers, including caravans, affect the performance of the towing vehicle.

Driving with a trailer takes practice. Remember:
  • Allow for the trailer’s tendency to ‘cut-in’ on corners and curves
  • Allow longer distances for braking,overtaking and joining a traffic stream
  • When reversing, it is advisable to have someone outside the vehicle giving directions
  • Avoid sudden lane changes and changes of direction
  • Look further ahead than normal so you can react to changes in traffic or road conditions
  • Use the accelerator, brakes and steering smoothly and gently at all times
  • Use a lower gear when travelling downhill to increase vehicle control and reduce strain on brakes
  • Slow down well before entering corners and curves
  • Trailers tend to jerk the back of the vehicle around and can cause sway (snaking).If a trailer starts to sway, the vehicle’s brakes should not be applied, except as an absolute last resort.If the trailer’s brakes can be operated by themselves they should be applied gently, otherwise a steady speed or slight acceleration should be held if possible until the sway stops
  • Take care not to hold up traffic unnecessarily
  • Plan more rest stops and shorter travelling days as towing is more stressful and tiring than normal driving
  • There is no specific speed restriction while towing a trailer. However, the posted speed limits must not be exceeded.Always drive to the road,traffic and weather conditions.

Before each trip, check:

  • Vehicle and trailer are roadworthy.
  • All tyres are properly inflated.
  • Trailer’s wheel-bearings, suspension and brakes work properly.
  • All lights work and safety chains are properly connected.
  • Oil, water, brake fluid, battery and other service checks on the vehicle.

At regular intervals during the trip, check:

  • Couplings, all doors, hatches, covers and any load or equipment are still properly secured.
  • Tyres are still properly inflated and not rubbing on suspension or body work.

If travelling to another State, check with the relevant roads authority whether there are different rules.

The towing vehicle

Vehicles must be suited to the trailer. Vehicle manufacturers usually indicate in the owner’s manuals the maximum weight and other features of trailers appropriate for the vehicle.These limits should not be exceeded.


  • All vehicles must comply with all relevant standards for registration and be roadworthy at all times
  • Rear number plates and lights must not be obscured by the towbar when there is no trailer connected.

Towing vehicles must be properly equipped with:

  • Towbars and couplings of a suitable type and capacity
  • Electrical sockets for lighting
  • Brake connections if the trailer is fitted with power or electric brakes.


  • Extra mirrors may be needed for the towing vehicle if towing a large trailer
  • For vehicles with automatic transmission, an extra transmission oil cooler may be needed
  • Some vehicles need structural reinforcement and/or special suspension and transmission options and load-distributing devices to be able to tow heavier trailers.

Tow bar

A properly designed and fitted towbar is essential for towing. The rated capacity of the towbar and coupling should not be exceeded.

Load equalisers can be used when towing large caravans. Load equalisers:

  • Help the vehicle retain normal suspension height and effective steering control
  • Transfer some of the weight from the towbar to the front and rear suspension of the vehicle.

As load equalisers may overload the towbar and its components, check with the towbar manufacturer for advice before use.

The trailer

Trailers must be a suitable size and type for their intended tasks. They must be built to meet the standards for registration. If a trailer is required to be registered it must be fitted with a rear number plate.

Towing ratio requirement

The loaded mass of the trailer must not exceed the lesser of:

  • Rated capacity of the towbar and tow coupling.
  • Maximum towing capacity of the vehicle.
  • Maximum carrying capacity of the trailer.
  • Maximum rated carrying capacity of the tyres.

If the vehicle manufacturer has not specified the maximum towing mass, the maximum towing mass is:

  • One and a half times the unladen mass of the towing vehicle, provided that the trailer is fitted with brakes which are connected and in working order, or
  • The unladen mass of the towing vehicle if the trailer does not require brakes.

Vehicles with a manufacturer’s gross combination mass (GCM) more than 4.5 tonne may tow in accordance with the above requirements.The GCM is the gross combination mass of the car and loaded trailer.

Braking system

The minimum braking system for a trailer depends on the type of trailer, its weight and the weight of the vehicle:

  • 0 – 750 kg loaded weight – no brakes required.
  • 751 – 2000 kg loaded weight – braking on both wheels on at least one axle.
  • 2001– 4500 kg loaded weight – braking on all wheels, and an automatic breakaway system in case the trailer becomes detached from the vehicle.

Brakes must be operable from the driver’s seating position.

Towing coupling

All couplings:

  • Must be strong enough to take the weight of a fully loaded trailer.
  • Should be marked with the manufacturer’s name or trade mark and rated capacity.
  • Must be equipped with a positive locking mechanism. The locking mechanism must be able to be released regardless of the angle of the trailer to the towing vehicle.

Safety chains

  • Must comply with Australian Standards.
  • Trailers less than 2500 kg when loaded must be fitted with at least one safety chain.
  • Trailers over 2500 kg when loaded must be fitted with two safety chains.

To prevent the front end of the drawbar from hitting the ground if the coupling is disconnected,safety chains must be:

  • As short as practicable and connected to the towing vehicle.
  • Crossed over if two chains are fitted.

Loading trailers

It is important that trailers are not overloaded and that loads are properly secured to or contained within the trailer:

  • A load must not project more than 150mm beyond the trailer’s width or be more than 2.5m overall width, whichever is less.
  • Loads that project more than 1.2m behind a trailer must have a red flag attached to the end of the load. This flag must be at least 300 mm square and clearly visible.To avoid having an overhanging load, you should purchase a trailer that suitably contains the load.
  • Between sunset and sunrise, or when there is insufficient daylight, a clear red light or at least two red reflectors must be fixed to the end of any projecting load.
  • Overall length of the vehicle and trailer combination including its load must not be more than 19m.
  • To reduce sway, heavy loads should be concentrated towards the centre of the trailer.
  • Loads should be kept as low and as close as possible to the axle or axles with about 60 per cent of the total weight forward of the centre of the axle or axles. As a general rule,about 5-10 per cent of the total mass of the trailer plus load should be supported by the vehicle through the coupling.The trailer drawbar should be level or slightly ‘nose down’.

By camexautomotive 31 Oct, 2017

When driving your car, there is the chance an issue may happen that may cause a few components in your car to overheat.

You will want to recognise and act on these problems quickly, overheating can cause serious and costly damage to your engine.

What will cause overheating?

Your car will more likely overheat when the outside temperature is very hot, but other problems may cause your engine to boil over even when the weather is cold.

If your car overheats when the weather is cool, then it may be because the coolant level is low and needs replenished. Or the fan belt may have come loose or perished, also, there may be leakage in the cooling system itself caused by worn clamps or hoses.

If you can’t find any leaks and the water and coolant levels seam to be fine, then that may indicate the engine has a faulty thermostat. In this instance you will need to get the thermostat replaced.

Other instances where overheating is present are coolant flow problems such as blocked radiator, faulty water pump or cavitation in the hoses.

The most concerning instance of an over heating car is a faulty head gasket which can leak coolant into the combustion chamber. This scenario is the most expensive to fix.

What to do

If your car is overheating, turning on the heater and blower will transfer heat from the engine to inside the car. It is not so pleasant  for passengers but will do wonders for the overheating engine as there is more surface area to be cooled down.

If the temperature gauge is rising to dangerous levels while you are at the traffic lights put the car in neutral and raise the engine revs a little. This will increase the coolant flow and cause more air to be drawn through.

It may still get worse where you think the car could be about to boil over, in which case pull over safely to the side of the road.

Once safely pulled over, open the bonnet and leave the car for a while to allow the engine to cool off. DONT ever open the radiator cap until gauge says temperature is at lowest level possible, this will take some time, so wait a while until you add more coolant.

If all else fails and you cant control the temperature then your best bet is to call a tow truck. Do not drive your car if the gauge is in the red, you will destroy your engine beyond repair.

Even when your car is running fine one important piece of advice is to make that temperature gauge your "best friend" 

By camexautomotive 21 Sep, 2017
A few simple checks you can do at home .

1. Tyres
Tyres have wear indicators that allow drivers to gauge tyre wear. The tread should be above the indicators. Always check across the whole width especially the inside where it is hard to see.

2. Wipers
Check operation. Is water easily removed with the wipers? Is their any damage to either wiper? Is there water squirting onto your windsceen?

3. Oil leaks
Most people do not realise they have an oil leak because they are never home to see the oil patch where the car is parked. A simple degrease from top to bottom will keep things neat and tidy.

4. Suspension
Listen for knocks. These suggest rubber bushes have worn and will require attention. Smooth driving? No problem. Most knocks can be heard coming in and out of your driveway.

5. Air bag and ABS light on?
Instant Fail. Allow time to have these scanned off or repaired. Sometimes disconnecting your battery for 10 mins may clear any errors. Please ensure you have your radio code.

6. Lights
Have a helper operate indicators, parkers, low beam, high beam, number plate lights and brake lights. Also your horn needs to work.

7. Hand brake.
Must hold vehicle on an incline.

8. Seatbelts
Must lock and must retract. No frays in the webbing.

9. Exhaust
Test for exhaust leaks you can normally hear these as a slight fluffing sound. Leaks in exhaust systems are a major health issue.

10. No dangerous protrusions.
RMS is cracking down on sharp edges such as fishing rod holders and antennaes. These pose a threat to pedestrians.

Allow yourself the time to have your car inspected and rectified well before the due date. Once your car has passed the pink slip inspection you have 6 months to pay for it so why not ask for an inspection at your next service?
Stick with one mechanic, get to know them and let them earn your trust. Taking your car regulary to the same mechanic puts the safety responsibilty squarley on them. They know more about your car than you do and will report any issues to you on the spot instead of going once a year and hoping for the best.
By camexautomotive 19 Sep, 2017



At the front of your engine there will be a series of drive belts that loop around various pulleys, driving everything from the alternator to the a/c compressor. Belts perishes, more so in extreme conditions like those found in an operating engine bay. Get your timing belt and accessory drive belt checked every 5,000 kms.


Checking your tyre pressures once a week is ideal. Bad tyre pressures can affect fuel economy. It's easy to do and there is no excuse not to.


This is something everyone can do - it's quick and easy and it'll tell you if your engine needs oil. If the oil is too high or too low, it can cause trouble for your engine. To check the oil, park on level ground and wait until the engine has cooled down after driving, then locate the dipstick. Pull it out and wipe it clean, then push it all the way back in until the top of it is seated properly in the dip tube again. Wait a moment then pull it out again. Check the level of the oil. If it's between the high and low marks, you're fine. (If it's too low, add a little.) The high and low marks can be denoted by two dots, an "H" and "L" or a shaded area on the dipstick.


Again, something everyone can do. The coolant is the other thing your engine cannot go without. Every engine is different but if you check your owners manual you should find where the coolant reservoir is. It will normally be bolted to one side of the engine bay or the other, and be a white semi-transparent bottle. Wait until your engine is cool and take a look at it - the outside should have 'low' and 'high' markings on it and the level of coolant inside should be between the two.
Do not  take the radiator cap off to check coolant levels. If the coolant system is still hot then it is still under pressure and the pressure release will burn you.

These are basic checks that can save your car and save you money!!

By camexautomotive 19 Sep, 2017
The Roads and Maritime Services of Australia have compulsory road rules stating that all trailers with a GTM exceeding 750kgs must have brakes. Camex Automotive has a range of brake controls to suit your needs.

The braking system for trailers is dependent on the type of trailer, the trailers weight and the weight of the vehicle.

  • 0 – 750 kg loaded weight – no brakes required.
  • 751 – 2000 kg loaded weight – braking on both wheels on at least one axle.
  • 2001– 4500 kg loaded weight – braking on all wheels, and an automatic breakaway system in case the trailer becomes detached from the vehicle.

Additional Rules for towing in NSW.

  • Towing more than one trailer at a time is not allowed
  • Nobody is allowed to ride in trailers or caravans
  • When towing on a road without street lights, stay at least 60 metres behind all vehicles unless overtaking
  • Learner drivers are not allowed to tow
  • P1 car licence holders can tow small trailers with up to 250 kg of unloaded weight.

By camexautomotive 29 Jun, 2017
When your car is broken down or in need of scheduled maintenance, finding a trustworthy mechanic you can rely on is priceless. For some, deciding where to bring their vehicle for repairs and servicing causes discomfort, anxiety, or even fear. The uneasiness some feel around new mechanics is perfectly understandable, but it’s also unfounded. Read on and remember these 3 simple rules.


One of the best traits you can find in an auto mechanic is honesty - you want someone who tells it like it is. Example, if your vehicle has more issues than your budget can handle, a mechanic can help you prioritize. An honest mechanic will tell you:

  • Which issues are related
  • Which issues are more urgent than others
  • Which issues affect your vehicle's safety and reliability

An honest mechanic won’t push or invent unnecessary repairs.


Look for a mechanic who clearly explains what needs to be done and why. An ideal mechanic is someone who wants you to understand what your vehicle is going through. While every vehicle owner will be interested in different amounts of information, a trusted mechanic will take the time to explain things as thoroughly as you’d like.


A trusted mechanic will let you know what repairs and servicing you can expect in the next few months. By showing interest in your vehicle’s life and longevity beyond the present moment a mechanic cares about more than finishing your service and collecting a payment. A mechanic who wants you to be informed and knowledgeable about your vehicle's life and longevity is a mechanic you want to work with.  

By camexautomotive 27 Jun, 2017

Of course, drivers have smartened up since their teenage years. Yet, there are still corners they try to cut here and there. The unfortunate result of that frugalness, however, could turn into an even more costly prospect down the road if you're careless.

Take a look at these common  car repair   mistakes that you'll want to avoid lest you want your wallet running on empty.

1. Using a Discount Mechanic

Rule of thumb when cost is a concern is generally to go middle of the road — not the cheapest, not the most expensive, but somewhere in the middle. Compare prices between service providers, consider online reviews, and also ask friends and families for referrals.

2. Filling the Engine With the Incorrect Type of Oil

Make sure to pay attention to the type of oil your vehicle recommends — synthetic, partial synthetic, or non-synthetic — and that you use the correct weight (i.e. 10W-30, 0W-40, 5W-20, etc.) for your vehicle and climate, and don't just choose what's on sale. Most new vehicles have variable valve timing which relies on correct oil type.

3. Forgetting the Oil Change Altogether

This is how you destroy engines. Oil deteriorates from heat and time and will turn into sludge. Oil filters will  not properly work causing damage to the internals. That little reminder sticker in the corner will save you thousands!!

4. Overlooking Wear on Brake Pads

Do people cringe when you turn a corner? Can't figure out what that screeching sound is when you come to a stop sign? That's actually your brakes crying for help, and you should have that looked at before you become a nuisance to your whole neighbourhood, or have an accident. By replacing brake pads on a regular basis, you can actually save money since a brake rotor lasts much longer when pads are changed regularly.

5. Neglecting Transmission and Other Fluids

Coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid, differential and power steering fluid do not last for ever and should be flushed and renewed every two years.. more- so in harsh or towing conditions.

By 100001025284 15 Dec, 2016
Towing a trailer requires additional knowledge and skill. All trailers, including caravans, affect the performance of the towing vehicle.
By 100001025284 08 Nov, 2016

Car dealers want you to think you will void your warranty if you get your vehicle serviced independently. This is completely false, in fact it would be illegal for them to lead you into this belief. Your warranty cannot be used against you to extort servicing through the authorized dealer network.

Car dealers want your money. They use carefully worded lies to make it easy for you to assume that you must get your car serviced at the dealership. But the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is very clear on this.

According to the ACCC, provided you comply with these sensible conditions, your warranty will survive.

1. Workshop must be qualified.

2. Stick to the scheduled servicing intervals as stated by the car maker.

3. Parts do not have to be genuine but must be fit for purpose.

Here is the ACCC ruling:

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