So, you think you’re ready for the big road trip to the southern states. Passports in the glove box, swim suits packed and enough sun screen for a month of tanning on the beach. But did you take a moment to think about your vehicle’s wellbeing? After all, it is the family member that can help make or break a well deserved road trip.
There are some simple steps every driver can take to help minimize the dreaded “Roadside Breakdown”. Here are a few simple considerations to help you get you on your way.
Tires are one of the most important safety components of your car and you should pay extra attention to them. You should check your tire pressures once a month at minimum. The tire pressure monitoring system works well but nothing replaces a good old fashioned tire pressure gauge. You can find your vehicles recommended tire pressures on the driver’s door. Whatever you do don’t make the mistake of looking at the side of the tire for the recommended pressures. The tire manufacturer only lists the maximum inflation on the side of the tire.
Try getting your kids involved in checking the tires pressures. Make sure the tires are cool and have not been heated up by the road – checking the pressures first thing in the morning will ensure this. If you cannot find the recommended inflation on the door then check the owner’s manual – an excellent resource for most routine checks on the car.
There are many things you can check before heading out on the road. Fluid levels, belts and hoses, lights and don’t forget the horn. Most of these checks can be performed by the average “DIY” driver. Having a look through your owner’s manual will assist you in most of your vehicles routine check requirements. And finally, don’t forget a quality first aid emergency kit with the recommended items for the driving you intend to do. Remember, when in doubt ask a professional. Happy driving and be safe!
Humberview School SHSM Transportation Teacher