Ultimate Road Trip Preparation
The secret to a smooth and comfortable road trip is all in the prep.
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.
Many people don’t realize how vulnerable they are to UV radiation while driving. Although being in your car is a little better than direct sun, people who spend lots of time driving are more likely to develop skin cancer on their left sides. This is due to sun exposure while driving. High-quality window tints, like what you’ll find at Diversity, will protect all of your vehicle’s occupants from the sun, helping you stay safe, cool, and comfortable on your next road trip.
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 into 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 unnecessarily 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 your 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 doing once a year anyways.
Once your car is ready it is time to hit the road and 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!