How to Prepare Your Car for a Road Trip

Canadian winters always seem to last an eternity. Now that summer is finally here, everybody is craving adventure. If you’re thinking of going on a road trip with your family or friends, this list of car maintenance tips can help you prepare for a safe and fun journey!

how to prepare your car for a road trip

Check your tires: Before beginning your road trip, check the pressure of your tires, and be sure to bring a spare. You should also check the tires for any cracks or uneven spots. For safety’s sake, worn out tires need to be replaced before heading out on a long road trip.

Check your brakes: It’s recommended to have a mechanic check your brakes. Signs that something may be wrong with them include a vibration or scraping sound when braking, a burning smell when driving, or leaking fluid. If you notice the brake light on your dash, it means your brake fluid is low and should be changed.

Check the battery: If your car battery runs out, your car won’t start. This could become an absolute nightmare if you’re driving down a road at night in the middle of nowhere. To avoid that situation, check the battery using a voltmeter. If your battery is in good condition, the voltage should be between 12.4 and 12.7 volts. Anything lower than 12.4 volts indicates the battery should be charged as soon as possible.

Inspect car belts and hoses: A belt or hose failure can overheat the engine. This can cause loss of power steering and loss of the electrical charging system. Overheating can happen at any time, but it is far more common in the summer. When the engine is cool, squeeze the hoses with your thumb and forefinger near the clamps. A hose in good condition feels firm. If it feels mushy, there’s a problem.

Check your lights: Make sure all your car lights are functioning properly. If any of them are burnt out, it could potentially result in an accident. Have someone stand outside of your car while you test the lights. They can tell you if your turn signals, brake lights, reverse lights and headlights work. You should also clean the exterior lights because dirt and grime can build up on them, which dims their brightness.

Check the fluids: It’s important to make sure your oil has been changed, and you have enough windshield-washer fluid. Additionally, most manufacturers recommend that manual transmission fluid should be changed every 48,000 to 97,000 kilometres.

Replace your windshield wipers: Good visibility is vital when driving. That’s why you should replace your windshield wiper blades every six months to a year or when you notice problems with their efficiency. If they squeak or streak, it’s time to replace them.

Now that you’ve read through this list of important things to check, you can start your adventure with confidence that your car will get you to your destination safely! Visit the Barrhaven Honda website for information on current car deals and offers.