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How to Prep Your Car for a Road Trip

It’s summertime and you know what that means… road trip season! For most of us, it’s been a while since we’ve been able to travel. That’s why now is the perfect time to hit the road and explore national and provincial parks, go camping, or visit relatives and friends around the country. Road trips are fun when they’re running smoothly, but they can also be stressful when things don’t go to plan. It’s important to prepare ahead of time to reduce the stress of travelling. You can follow these 5 simple steps to ensure your car is prepared to handle your journey safely.

1. Get your car cleaned

You’ll likely be spending hours in your car, so having it detailed before hitting the road will make your trip much more enjoyable. Nobody wants to be caught being the driver and having your friend or relative dodging the Tim's cups and other clutter as they get in the vehicle! It’s also just a good idea to remove any unnecessary items from your car to make more space and reduce the weight of your vehicle.

2. Check your tires

Always check tire pressure before hitting the road. If you book a Vroom Crew service, not only will we clean your car, but we can also check and adjust your tire pressure for you. We also recommend that you visually examine your tires and look for any tread wear, imbedded nails, etc. And don’t forget to carry a spare tire just in case!

3. Check your fluids

Having the proper levels of fluid is essential if you want your road trip to go off without a hitch. Check your oil before the trip. You may be able to top it up or if you need a replacement you can take it to your local garage. If you suspect your coolant levels are low, it is also worth seeing a professional to take care of it. Don’t forget to fill up your windshield wiper fluid before leaving, because when you're cruising on the highway or back roads your grill ends up looking like a bug gunk crime scene :)

4. Pack a roadside emergency kit

It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so make sure to pack supplies that you may need if you run into car troubles. You can buy a car emergency kit from a local store or make one yourself. Be sure to include a, gas can, fire extinguisher, jumper cables, blankets, a window breaker and water bottles. Although we hope you never need to use these things, it is always better to be safe than sorry in an emergency!

5. Plan your route

Plan out your route ahead of time and identify the best areas for rest stops and where you can fill your gas tank. There are many navigation apps available that will show you the closest gas stations, car washes and auto repair shops near you. Some good ones to check out are Waze, Google Maps and Here We Go. If you are looking to avoid traffic, Waze provides the most up to date routing through their live driver feedback.

For owners of electric vehicles, planning ahead is even more important. Reduce any range anxiety you might have ahead of time by using apps such as ChargeHub or Chargepoint to see where charging stations will be located along your route, and see how busy they are at specific points in time. EV owners can optimize their routes by tracking battery performance under different avg. speeds and road surfaces. These are great tidbits of information that can be shared with the EV community in Atlantic Canada.

By following these easy steps, your roadtrip is bound to go as smoothly as possible! Most often, one of the characteristics of a successful road trip is returning with a dirty car. Sand, mud, bug gunk, stains from spilled drinks, food wrappers... your car has probably taken a beating! A messy car is the last thing you want to deal with after a long trip, so book a Vroom service for when you get back - we'll take care of it for you! A thorough car detailing is the best way to end a great road trip.

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