Top tips for safe road tripping this fall

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The current COVID-19 pandemic is going nowhere fast, and as a result instead of vacationing in faraway lands many of us remain grounded. Fortunately, now in Phase 3 of BC’s Restart Plan there’s the option of having a staycation by hitting the road and visiting a local destination. Before loading up the vehicle, however, make sure its up to snuff for transporting you and your loved ones safely.

Hagerty, the largest global insurer of classic vehicles, has put together a comprehensive auto care guide to help owners keep their rides of any vintage in perfect running condition. Check out some of the tips from the guide below.

  • Ongoing Care — Stay up-to-date on routine checks, evaluation of the car’s fluid levels, brake efficiency, wheel bearing, etc. Check the engine oil and coolant, the power-steering fluid, and the windshield-washer fluid while the engine is cold, but the transmission fluid after the engine has heated up at the end of a drive. Good brake fluid looks like apple juice; bad fluid looks like maple syrup; check for brake fluid leaks when pulling out of a parking spot.
  • Tools — Pack the essentials such as a selection of sockets, screwdrivers and wrenches. Have a fire extinguisher in the cabin or under the front seat and accessible on a moment’s notice. Other useful items to have on-hand include spare tires, vital fluids, coolant and two spare litres of oil.
  • Routes — Hagerty has released a series of curated scenic routes available on the Rallista app, which provides users the tools to take unique driving routes in some of the most picturesque destinations ever seen.
  • Gasoline — Have zero tolerance for fuel leaks. Ethanol in gasoline can cause problems in cars built before the 1990s. Allowing gasoline to sit is not good. Don’t buy lead replacements; do buy premium gas. Fuel pumps die.
  • Oil — Stick with conventional oil versus synthetics. Check your oil level before your drive, and choose the zinc level of your oil carefully.
  • Battery — Install a cutoff switch or a battery charger to extend battery life.
  • Tires — Tire pressure should always be checked before a drive, and regularly monitored when on extended trips. Inspect tires date code and the rubber’s physical condition to monitor for dry rot.

Stay safe and happy motoring!

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