Last week we talked about to prepare for a road-trip, but before you take off on your open-road travels there’s a few things you need to check before you leave. Nothing ruins a good road trip faster than car troubles, so protect yourself by following these 7 easy tips to make sure your vehicle is in ship-shape before you leave.
#7 – Check Your Tires
Your tires are your only contact with the road, and are vitally important to ensure a smooth trip. First check that they have enough tread left to see you through (try to err on the side of caution), then make sure your tires are properly inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended psi (usually found on the inside of the driver’s door), and don’t forget about the spare either! If you suspect your current tires aren’t up to the task, visit our Tire Centre to find affordable replacements.
#6 – Top Up Your Fluids
Just like you, your car needs fluids in order to run properly. Before taking off make sure you check that your vehicle’s engine has enough clean oil for the trip, also check that you have enough brake fluid and automatic transmission fluid (ATF). Don’t forget to top off your windshield wiper fluid prior to leaving as well! If you’re unsure how to check these fluids yourself, contact our Service Centre for more info or to make an appointment and have a professional inspect your vehicle.
#5 – Check Your Coolant Levels
While technically also a fluid, we wanted to stress how important it is to check your vehicle’s coolant levels before taking off on a road trip. Just as the name suggests, your coolant keeps your engine cool, and without it your engine could overheat or seize. Driving for hours at a time (like on a road trip) can really get your engine hot under the collar, so make sure it has enough coolant to keep it happy! Bring your vehicle in to our Service Centre to have one of our professional technicians ensure your coolant levels are adequate.
#4 – Inspect Your Wiper Blades
Just like your vehicle’s coolant, your wiper blades are also going to get a good workout during a road trip. Warmer weather also brings bugs, to make sure your wiper blades are keeping things clear by ensuring the blades aren’t cracked and the wiper make solid contact against the windshield. If you find your wipers are in need of replacement, our Parts Department has plenty of replacements in stock!
#3 – Make Sure Your Lights Work
This is actually a check that you should be doing on a regular basis as it’s not only important for safety, but it can also save you from a hefty fine as well. Ensure all your lights are working, including high-beams, daytime running lights, brake lights, and indicators. This is also a good time to check that all your interior lights work as well (you might just need that map light!). If anything isn’t functioning as it should, make an appointment with us to set it straight.
#2 – Check Your Battery
A dead battery stinks, and you definitely don’t want to discover yours has gone flat when you go to leave your campground in the morning. So make sure the cables have no breaks in them and are securely fastened to the posts. Ensure that the posts themselves are clear of corrosion and that the battery has enough charge left. If you need help with this, or require a replacement battery, then our Service Centre will be more than happy to help!
#1 – Pack an Emergency Kit
As a wise man once said: “Better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have.” You (hopefully) won’t need an emergency kit on your travels, but it’s a great idea to pack on just in case! Make sure it’s stocked with a tire jack, jumper cables, road flares or pylons, and warm clothes if you’re headed north. If you’ve followed our tips than chances are you won’t need such a pack, but life is unpredictable – so be prepared!
Those were our road-trip tips! What did you think of them? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!