As the weather heats up and vacation plans go into full swing, it’s time to ensure that your vehicle is prepped and ready for summertime fun. And because road trips are a quintessential summer activity in BC, we put together a checklist to help you prepare your car for its next long-distance adventure!

Check your tires

For safety reasons and of course to save some money at the pump, the first and probably most important thing to check are your tires and tire pressures. You’ll want to make sure that they match your vehicle’s guidelines as outlined in the owners’ manual, as well as check for any punctures or cracks that could be problematic while you are out on the road. You should also pay close attention to the condition and age of your tires and see if they are showing signs of wear and tear. And before setting out on any extended road trip, evaluate the tread depth of your tires to make sure you’re getting enough rubber on the road.

Test your brakes

As brake pads wear away over time, you will be left with a screeching or squealing noise when there isn’t enough pad material left for your brakes to work effectively. If needed, replacing them before a long trip will ultimately make your ride safer and will give you peace of mind knowing that you’ll be able to fit in a number of fun, safe summer road trips this season.

Test your lights

The last thing you want on your vacation is to get pulled over for a burnt-out head or taillight. Luckily, these are easy to check on your own, simply turn on your car, leave it in park and take a walk around your car to confirm all the lights work including your left and right turn signals. It’ll take you two minutes and could save you from a big ticket or worse, an accident that derails the rest of your trip.

Check the A/C

Nobody wants to be stuck in the summer heat with a broken A/C unit, especially in a compact space for hours at a time. Some telltale signs that your A/C is not functioning correctly are if the cabin temperature remains hot while the A/C is turned on, loud noises coming from the A/C compressor, moisture leaks beneath the vehicle, a stiff or immobile compressor clutch, tripped circuit breaker, or lastly, if there are broken suction lines. If you notice any of these areas causing a problem or you’re generally unhappy with your A/C’s performance, have a professional take a look and save yourself a stuffy and uncomfortable ride, because on those super hot days, rolling down the windows doesn’t always do the trick.

Clean your car

Nothing is worse on a long road trip than feeling cramped by clutter or falling luggage. Giving your vehicle a good cleaning inside and out can go a long way to increasing everyone’s mood and comfort as you set out on a long adventure.

When it comes to doing a deep clean, pay close attention to the condition of things like your floor mats, seats, storage areas and dashboard controls. These areas are most important to have cleared so that there are no distractions while driving, such as having to make space in your cup holder or be shifting garbage around when on the road. And don’t forget about the outside of your car as well. Stop by the car wash so that you can start the trip with a shiny, clean car both inside and out.

Follow these tips to make sure that your vehicle is safe and ready to go for long-distance travel all summer long!