Get Your Vehicle Ready for a Long Summer Road Trip or Travel | Ontario Chrysler

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We know you love your hometowns, Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton dwellers, but sometimes you need to check out new towns, new vistas. Summer is the natural time for road-tripping here in Ontario, and whether you’re going to cross the entire country or head for a favourite fishing hole far from the city, you want to make sure your vehicle is road-trip ready. Here are some terrific tips to keep you and your fellow adventurers safe and comfortable on the open road this summer. Some are DIY and others can happen with the help of a skilled technician in the GTA.
Lights, Wipers, Battery
Your headlights are important for your safety and that of others on the road. Give all of your vehicle lights a wipe with a soft cloth now and then to make sure they are shining bright and to rid them of dust and insects. Replace bulbs that are dimming out or have burned out. Although you might think your windshield wipers are most important in winter, a sudden summer storm can make driving a challenge. Replace frayed wiper blades and top up that washer fluid. You can learn to replace your own blades quite easily, but if you’re not confident, it’s best to have your mechanic check them. Keeping your battery in good condition is also vital, as they don’t just burn out in winter. Your mechanic can check the battery life for you with pro equipment. Keep posts and connections clear of corrosive debris but use goggles and gloves and avoid skin contact with the corrosives, as they can burn. If your caps are removable, check battery fluids each month, using extreme caution and again, gloves and eye protection.
Tires & Brakes
Checking your tire pressure on a monthly basis is a good habit year-round, as is having a look at the treads. Balding tires on hot pavement can lead to an inability to stop in time. Have them rotated every 8000 kilometres or so to ensure even wear. If you feel your car pulling to one side, it’s time for an alignment check-up. Carry a jack and a spare tire, but also consider investing in a roadside assistance program if you’re just not sure you can manage a tire change on your own. In some traffic conditions, it may just not be safe for anyone, no matter how skilled they may feel. Peace of mind is money well spent. Your brakes should be checked according to the schedule laid out in your owner’s manual, or if you hear noises, feel grabbing, or have concerns about the time it takes you to come to a full stop.
Engine & Oil
The check engine light is one of those dashboard illuminations many of us dread, and even though it comes on for a variety of reasons, why take chances with your engine health? Air, fuel and PCV filters do need to be changed at intervals, especially in dusty conditions. If you have hesitant starts or feel hiccups as you accelerate, see your qualified technician as soon as possible. Oil should be changed every 5000 kms, especially if you do tonnes of short trips around town, are hauling/towing, or if you plan a very long road trip.
Air Conditioning & Cooling System
Ever been stuck in traffic on the 400 on a blazing hot day, only to wish you’d had someone take a look at your sluggish AC before you hit the road? If it’s not working at optimum levels to begin with, a heatwave may finish it off and cause a costly replacement, not to mention jeopardizing your comfort and that of your human and animal passengers. If your vehicle is new, find out how often those in-cabin air filters need to changed out. Your engine cooling system also needs your attention. Flush and refill the engine coolant every two years. Drive belts, clamps and hoses should be checked by a licensed professional, and if you’re changing out your coolant yourself, make sure that radiator cap is stone cold before you try unscrewing it.
Roadside Emergency Kit
We tend to think about winter roadside emergency kits, but they are just as crucial in summer. First aid kit, flashlight, roadside flares, booster cables and other items recommended by your auto technician are a good idea. None of us want to think about accidents or breakdowns, but it’s better to be prepared. It’s also a really good plan to have a glass water bottle filled when you embark and when you take breaks.
Ahhh, summer. The gang here at Ontario Chrysler can’t wait to hear all about your road-tripping adventures.

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