When you’re driving on vacation, there’s nothing more frustrating than running out of fuel or experiencing a mechanical breakdown. Four in 10 people take the time to have their vehicle inspected before setting out. For a no-stress vacation, follow their lead! Here are seven tips to ensure complete safety on the road this summer.
1. Do your own inspection.
Long summer road trips can put a strain on your vehicle. Here are some checks you can do yourself before you leave:
- windshield wipers;
- cleanliness and proper operation of headlights;
- cleanliness of the windshield and all windows;
- turn signals;
- tire condition and pressure;
- levels of fluids and lubricants.
By checking the condition of all these elements, you’ll identify any potential problems and be able to make the necessary adjustments before the big day.
2. Call on the experts.
Specialists also offer custom inspections specifically for drivers heading out on vacation. This kind of check, conducted by professionals, provides a diagnosis before you take to the road.
A SUMMER ROAD, inspection, which you can have done at a CAA-Quebec Vehicle Inspection Centre, will tell you the condition of, among other things, the suspension, brakes, electronics... and the battery. “Because of the heat, summer, not winter, is the most damaging season for a car battery,” explains CAA-Quebec automotive industry analyst Sylvain Légaré.
After the inspection is done, if any adjustments or repairs are needed, don’t hesitate to visit an Approved Auto Repair Services outlet. That way, you’ll leave with true peace of mind!
3. Take care of your battery.
Speaking of the battery, if you’re mechanically inclined, you can take care of it yourself by cleaning the terminals and connectors. Slip on some work gloves and safety glasses, wash everything with a little water and baking soda, and voilà! If you’re not comfortable working under the hood, you can always give CAA-Quebec Battery Service a call.
4. Rely on your GPS.
In many cases, you can avoid traffic jams by using a GPS system that relays real-time traffic conditions. Mobile apps like Waze, which you can install on your smartphone, do a great job as well. To avoid nasty surprises, though, make sure the monthly limit on your data plan is generous enough if you’ll be using the app in Canada, and buy a data roaming package if you plan to use it outside the country. Also, always leave your phone in a docking station or support. Handheld use could result in a hefty fine, costing you money costing you money as well as demerit points! Laws differ from one province to another and from U.S. state to state. Find out before you leave!
5. Consider buying an emergency kit.
It should include first-aid supplies, a flashlight, some basic tools—and food, like granola bars. You never know...
6. See to your passengers’ comfort.
Especially the little ones in the back seat. Planning things to keep them busy (not to mention fed!) will mean fewer stops along the way.
7. Read up on Roadside Assistance services available along your route.
In the U.S., CAA-Quebec has agreements with AAA and its Approved Auto Repair Services network. Prevention is the best strategy, but it’s good to know that help is there if you need it!
1 Source: CAA-Quebec’s 2016 survey of Quebecers’ summer vacation plans.