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Getting road trip ready

For many British Columbians, summer means road trip season. Whether you’re exploring close to home or further away, before heading out make sure that your vehicle is ready for the journey.

To keep your road trip smooth, here’s what to check before you hit the road:

1. Check what you can see… start with a visual inspection of your vehicle:

  • Windshield wipers: check the condition of the wiper blades.
  • Check for fluid leaks: if you find one, note the colour, type, amount and where it's located under the vehicle.
  • Tires: inspect tires for pressure, wear, cuts, bulges, blisters and uneven wear.
  • Lights: test all interior and exterior lights.
  • General: look for loose mouldings, cracks or stone chips in the windshield, cracked or broken light covers.

See an automotive expert if you have concerns or questions about any of these.

2. Fluids

Your car needs fluids during hot weather just like you do. Ensuring proper fluid levels can save you from costly repairs down the road. Check your oil regularly and keep up with your car’s oil change schedule. Visit an automotive expert to have them check your transmission fluid, brake fluid, power-steering fluid and/or engine coolant. They’ll be able to safely top-up and ensure there are no other causes of concern such as a leak.

3. Hoses and belts

Hot weather can do a number on hoses and belts in your engine – especially if they haven’t been maintained or replaced regularly. Pop the hood and check for cracks, nicks, bulges, blistering or other damage on your engine’s hoses and belts. If you notice any softness in the hoses that’s a clear sign they need replacing. Ask an automotive expert for an inspection if you’re not sure.

4. Battery

You wouldn’t want an old battery to mark the end of your road trip. Summer heat is harder on your battery than winter weather. If your battery is getting on in years (car batteries last about four years on average), get it tested and replace it if necessary before you head out.

5. Stay cool

Driving on mountainous roads or crawling in traffic behind an accident can strain hard working engines – especially if you’re loaded down with gear. Have your radiator and air conditioning checked and tuned up.

6. Be prepared

Keep a small car emergency kit ready and check it annually. We have all the info you need to build your own kit. Before you leave double check your BCAA Membership to ensure you have the right level of coverage for your trip. If you need to make changes, please call us at 1-888-268-2222.

If you’re heading out in an RV or planning to tow a trailer ensure you have the right insurance coverage before you hit the road plus check out our tips on how to avoid the most common RV and trailer breakdowns, and learn more about keeping your car in top shape all year ‘round.

BCAA’s Red Seal Certified technicians at all six BCAA Auto Service Centre locations conduct full diagnostic scans on all makes and models of vehicles. Book an appointment with one of our automotive experts at a BCAA Auto Service Centre, where Members get exclusive savings, a free car wash and a two-year warranty.