Road Trip Essentials
It's that time of year finally. Everyone's switching back over to their summer tires, you no longer need a jacket and toque to go outside, and you might even drive around with the windows down! It's the beginning of roadtrip season!
Whether you're heading to the lake, across Canada, or going shopping south of the border (guilty!), there's a few things you should check, and have on hand to make sure you spend your time enjoying the drive.
Check/Adjust Tire Pressures
Having your tires properly inflated creates a variety of benefits including:
-Better Gas Mileage
-Less Road Noise
-Proper Tire Wear
The best part is that this is super easy to do, with air pumps located at almost every gas station, and the proper pressure located on the label inside your drivers' side door jamb. Make sure to have a tire pressure gauge handy as well, you can pick up a good quality analog one at most auto parts stores for around $10.
Check Your Oil Level
A quick check of the dipstick can make sure your roadtrip isn't cut short with you at the side of the road. I always carry a quart of oil as well for any top ups needed. Make sure to do the reading on a warm engine (not running!), on a level surface.
Top Up Your Washer Fluid
Another super simple one. This is a good time to switch to the latest summer mixes that contain ingredients to keep your windshield clear of bug debris. My favorite is Rain X Pink summer blend fluid. Make sure to pack a spare jug in the trunk as well!
Optional: Injector Cleaner
With the seasons transitioning, one of the small maintenance items I recommend is injector cleaner. It helps break down carbon deposits that can rob your engine of power, responsiveness and gas mileage. Road Trips are a perfect time to use them since you're more than likely going through a tank or two of gas, so it speeds up the time required for the treatment to take effect. My pick is Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant, go with the medium size at least for best value (Usually around $15 for 5-7 treatments vs $8 for 1).
Whether you listen to podcasts, or stream music from your favourite provider, keeping you phone and devices topped up is a necessity (Fun Fact: If you're in an area with not great cellular coverage, your phone can use up to 4x the power to lock on to cell phone towers!). Most cars come with USB ports these days, however not all USB ports are created equal. Even if they're Apple certified, that means they charge at a minimum of 1A. Most modern devices can accept upwards of 2A, cutting your charging times in half. Picking up a cigarette lighter USB charger also allows you to charge multiple devices.
Another must have travel accessory is a USB Powerbank. You want something with a high enough capacity to recharge your devices multiple times, but not so big that it becomes large and unwieldy to carry around. My pick for a travel pack is one of Anker's 10000/13000maH units. Compared to other units with the same capacity, they're nice and small. And they're capacities are enough to charge most smartphones 3-7X!
Given that it's summertime, this may not seem like the most obvious thing to carry with you. However, if something were to go wrong, having something to keep comfortable is handy. It's also a nice to have if you're staying in a Hotel/Motel that doesn't have good linens.
Now go hit the road and enjoy your trip!
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