Is Your Car Road Trip Ready?

Is Your Car Road Trip Ready?

Auto Repair Shops Should Be High on Your Summer Destination List

With summer on its way, so is road trip season. Between summer music festivals, tourist destinations, and more events than you can shake a pack of Timbits at, people will be journeying from Alberta to Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes in droves. If you count yourself among those hitting the road this summer, make sure your first stop is an auto repair shop. Here’s why:

You know how in every comedy film involving a road trip ever made, the car inevitably breaks down? What happens next never strays far from an established formula: hilarity ensues as we watch the characters on screen freaking out, but it eventually leads them to an incredible chance encounter or on an adventure not soon to be forgotten. In real life, however, it’s more likely to lead to a call to CAA, forking out money for a tow truck and repairs, and potentially missing your (non-refundable) accommodations, concert, or other event.

By taking the time to visit an automotive technician before you embark—particularly if it’s going to be a long trip, or if it’s been awhile since you last took your car into for a tune-up—you’re taking measures to prevent unwanted incidents on the road that could put a damper on the whole trip.

To make sure that your car is ready to hit the road, it is important to take it in for a tune-up. Have your automotive technician check the pressure and condition of your tires, inspect your suspension, belts, and hoses, check oil, fluids, and the coolant level, replace air filters, make sure the air conditioner is working (you’ll be particularly glad for having checked that one!), and everything else that goes into a typical tune-up. Fixing or replacing these things while on the road will be a much bigger challenge, so make sure you’re in tip-top shape now!

Of course, there is no sure-fire way to guarantee that nothing will go wrong, so it also pays to be prepared. Make sure you have a spare tire and the tools to install it, as well as booster cables, flashlights, an emergency kit, and extra fuel. Make sure to pack a paper map (don’t rely too heavily on technology), and mark out gas stations and garages along the way. Ask your automotive technician if they know any good auto repair shops they can recommend along your route—just in case!

As you plan your route, make sure to take into account your limits. If you are only able to do a certain amount of driving each day before needing to rest, then plan around that, and don’t attempt to push yourself. Mark milestones and motels on your map, and know where you intend to make every stop along your road trip. The easiest way to get into an accident is to drive when you’re too tired or too distracted, so plan ahead and avoid this potential risk by taking breaks and knowing where you’ll stop along the way.