Summer is just around the corner – even in chilly Winnipeg, temperatures are starting to climb beyond 24-25 degrees. And the summer is the best time to take a road trip in Canada – whether you’re exploring our great nation, or journeying south to visit our American neighbors!
But while road trips can be fun, they can take a serious toll on your car – especially if you’re driving a used vehicle. And having your car break down while you’re on a road trip is a total bummer – it can turn your vacation from a dream into a nightmare.
So we’ve put together this handy article to help you prepare your vehicle for a summer road trip. Follow this guide, and you can make sure your car is ready for your journey – and be prepared for the worst, just in case.
1. Schedule A Checkup
The first thing you should do before a long road trip is have your car inspected by a professional. You should have your car go through a comprehensive, point-by-point check, performed by an experienced mechanic, and have routine maintenance steps such as tire rotations and brake pad checks performed.
You should also make sure that all of your car fluids have been changed recently, and that your vehicle is free from any serious mechanical issues. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so it’s worth shelling out some money to make sure that your car is in good shape – or to catch a potentially critical mechanical issue.
2. Check That Battery – And Make Sure You Have Jumper Cables!
You don’t want your battery to fail during your trip, so make sure that you’ve had it checked recently. You can easily remove your battery from your vehicle on your own, and take it into an auto shop or an automotive supply store, and get it tested to ensure that it’s functioning correctly.
You should also take this time to clean your battery terminals, removing any debris or buildup that could interfere with performance. You should also make sure that you have jumper cables in your vehicle – just in case.
3. Pump Up Your Tires And Give Them A Quick Inspection
Your tires are going to be going through a lot during your road trip – so give them some TLC. Use a tire gauge to ensure that they’re properly inflated, and inspect your tires for excessive wear, bulges on the sidewall, and proper tread condition.
If your tires aren’t properly inflated, you could suffer from poor gas mileage throughout your trip – and increase your risk of a potentially dangerous tire blowout.
4. Be Prepared For Emergencies, And Bring Extra Supplies
If you’re prepared properly, your car is probably going to be in great shape throughout your trip. But there are no guarantees in life – so you should prepare for worst case scenarios.
Bring supplies that can be used in case of an emergency or a medical issue, such as a first aid kit, flashlights, a blanket, and some basic tools. You should also check your spare tire to make sure it’s properly inflated, and make sure you’ve got a your tire iron and a jack, in case you have to change a tire.
You should also bring food and water. If your car does break down, it’s quite possible that you will be miles from help, and you may have to wait for rescue for quite a while. You’ll want to be prepared for that, and ensure that you and your other road-trippers will be adequately fed and hydrated.
5. Don’t Overpack Your Vehicle
Overpacking your vehicle can be very dangerous. If you pack too much stuff – especially on the roof – you may be at risk of tipping your car, and excessive weight can put some serious strain on your tires and on your suspension.
Check your owner’s manual to see the maximum load capacity of your vehicle, and ensure that you’re within the recommended guidelines.
6. Clean Your Car
You’re going to be spending a long time in your car during this trip – so you don’t want it to be dirty, smelly, or covered with trash. Take the time to vacuum out your car before you leave for a major road trip, and get rid of any trash that may be lurking in your vehicle.
A clean car also helps reduce the messes caused by a road trip. When your car is already clean, you’re more likely to toss items like snack wrappers, fast-food bags, empty bottles and cans, and other trash at rest stops and gas stations.
Need A Tune-Up Before Your Road Trip? Come To Ride Time Now!
If you’re getting ready for a road trip, Ride Time is the perfect place to get a comprehensive, point-by-point vehicle inspection! Our expert mechanics will examine your vehicle, check and replace your car fluids, and make sure that it’s ready for your summertime adventures!
So don’t risk taking a road trip without having your vehicle inspected by a professional. Come to Ride Time today, and get the peace of mind you need to have a fantastic road trip – without worrying about a breakdown.