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How to Prepare for a Road Trip

Leave your worries at home by planning for the unexpected.

The more we go on road trips on Vancouver Island, the more we realize that with a bit of planning you can be prepared for the unexpected. Car troubles are the absolute fastest way to ruin a great road trip, but the vast majority of potential problems can be sorted out before you even leave.  With mass construction starting at McKenzie and Highway 1, along with non-stop construction on the Malahat, there are two new reasons to worry about your vehicle’s exterior as well. But don’t worry, we have a fix for that too.

Your Owner’s Manual

This one seems silly, but find your owner’s manual and make sure it is in your glove box. If you blow a fuse and your air conditioner stops working, or the interior lights no longer work, you are going to need the diagrams to the fuse box that are in there.  It will remind you where the jack is in case of a flat tire, and the best practice for dealing with an overheating engine. Don’t leave this one to chance, especially because it is so simple.

Exterior Protection

Tons of construction is underway covering the majority of the drive over the Malahat. This means lots of gravel and rock spray on your car. Paint chips and windshield cracks are some of the most common damage inflicted during highway driving. We have a few different services available that keep the exterior of your ride safe and guarantee to keep it looking factory fresh. You can do your entire vehicle, part of your vehicle, or just the most important bits.

Under the Hood

This is when things get really important. Take a peek under your hood for any obvious problems like leaks or frayed engine belts. If you see anything serious, get it to your mechanic ASAP. After a visual inspection check your engine oil for quality and colour, then do the same for transmission fluid and coolant. Top up anything that needs it and be sure all of the caps are tightened when you put it all back together. Feeling uncomfortable with an under the hood check? Just bring it in to a quality mechanic (we like Parkside Motors) and have them give it a once over. A trained eye you can trust is worth its weight in gold.

Check your Battery

This one is easy. Check your battery terminals. If they are super corroded you gotta give them a clean. You can do it in just a minute with some baking soda. Here is an illustrated guide to a DIY battery clean up. This will help make sure you don’t get stranded unnecssarily while you wait for a jump. (You double checked that you have jumper cables in your trunk, just in case….right?)

Get it cleaned!

The last step seems obvious, but many people skip it. Clean your car! Inside and out, thorough cleaning is going to make your drive much more enjoyable. You can take all the carpets out, give it a vacuum, wash the outside, and give it a spritz with Febreze to freshen it up. If you car is in a bad state, it might be smart to get it deep cleaned before you go. You can get an amazing interior service from Island Detail, or have your whole car done, which we would recommend to do once a year anyways.

Once your car is ready it is time to hit the road an enjoy some of this amazing island summer. The best kind of vacation is one without any surprise visits from a tow truck along the way. Happy travels!

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