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How to Prepare Your Car for a Long Road Trip

If you are all set to hit the road and take in the colours of the beautiful fall foliage that this season has to offer, make sure that your car is ready for the trip. Whether you're going for a small adventure or driving all the way across Canada, having to deal with car trouble is sure to put a damper on your fun.

Luckily, CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) has some useful tips that will help you avoid disaster while on the road. Make your road trip as safe and worry-free as possible by taking just a few precautions.

A Handy Road Trip Checklist

You know what they say. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, eh? Taking the time to make sure that every part of your vehicle is in good working order will pay off hugely when you don't have to worry about a breakdown mid-trip. So, before packing up and heading out, give your car a thorough check and correct any minor issues before they can turn into big problems.

prepare your car for a long road trip

  • Change your oil and top up your fluids. Even if it isn't quite time to do so, you should remember that a longer drive will cause more stress than normal for your car's systems.
  • Check your headlights, brake lights and turn signals. You will want to be absolutely sure that all of these important functions are working properly.
  • Check your tire pressure. Adjusting the amount of pressure in your tires could improve your vehicle's handling and possibly even extend their lifecycle.
  • Replace older air filters. Excessive amounts of dirt in your filters can restrict airflow and make it difficult to defog your windows, potentially reducing visibility.
  • Clean your windshield, inside and out, and replace worn wiper blades. You will want to see as much as possible on your road trip, for the sake of safety and to fully enjoy those fall colours.
  • Replace any frayed or worn hoses and belts. Having a hose or belt snap while you're driving can easily lead to an accident or, at the very least, a very unpleasant travel delay.
  • Test your battery. To be on the safe side, have a professional take a look at your battery and replace it if it is weak. CAA Battery Service will happily test, boost or replace your battery.

Unfortunately, even with the best planning and preparation, road trip accidents can still happen. However, if you are involved in a roadside incident, you can minimize your stress by following a few tips.

How to Handle Road Trip Accidents

First of all, if a collision occurs, you should stay calm. Everything will go more smoothly if you are able to think clearly.

  • Get help. You will need to immediately dial 9-1-1 if anyone is injured or if there is significant damage to any of the vehicles involved.
  • Assess the situation. All collisions resulting in property damage to a vehicle exceeding $2,000 must be reported to the police.
  • Move your car. If it is possible (and safe) to do so, carefully move your car to the side of the road and wait for help to arrive.
  • Make records. Write down all of the accident details and take pictures of the resulting damage. You will also want to exchange information with any other involved party.
  • Contact your insurance company. This is especially important if your vehicle needs to be towed to a Collision Reporting Centre (CRC). Never sign for or authorize towing before alerting your policy provider.

So, do your best to prepare to be safe on your drive, but try to keep your cool if the unexpected happens. And if you know that your road trip will be more successful if you are able to buy a newer, more reliable automobile, make sure that you get the best possible financing.

Rule the Road in Your New Ride

If it is time to purchase your next vehicle, you may be worried about running into a lot of hassle when you apply for financing, especially if you have less than perfect credit. Fortunately, Canada Auto Loan can take the stress out of loan approval by connecting you with a dealer right in your area who is qualified to work with your situation.

Our service is free and our process is fast, so go ahead and fill out our simple and 100% secure online application to get started today.