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Summer has arrived, and there’s no better time to start planning that first family road trip. Whether you’re in a sedan, a crossover or a minivan, here are some tips you’ll want to know about before pulling off the driveway.
1) Get your vehicle road-trip ready
Before you head out, get your vehicle travel-travel with a maintenance check-up. Make sure your vehicle has had that oil change, tire pressure and brakes checked and for the hot ride, fluid levels topped up.
Here’s a good checklist:
Fluids Recharge your vehicle A vehicle requires a number of fluids to run smoothly. Ensure these are topped up and check for any leaking engine oil, transmission fluid, gasoline, antifreeze/coolant, radiator coolant, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid or power steering fluid.
Wipers Clear your windshield Keeping your eyes on the road is good advice but only if you have a clear view. Make sure all your windows are clean and that your vehicle’s wiper blades are working properly.
Tires Traction for the road ahead Less treadwear means better traction and a safer drive. If your tires have less than 1.6 mm of tire tread depth or other visible treadwear indicators, they should be replaced. Also check your tire pressure.
Brakes Prepare for unexpected stops If your vehicle pulls to the side, or makes a sound when you brake, it may be time to replace your brake pads.
Battery Energize your vehicle Start and end your trip right – check your battery. If it’s more than 5 years old, or if you’ve had trouble starting your vehicle, it may be time for a new one.
Carseats Be sure to protect your little cargo on the road too, with a quick visit to Chevrolet Canada’s Safe and Sure carseat clinic near you. They’ll make sure you know the correct way to install your carseat before your next trip.
2) Plan for the unexpected
Know where you’re going and how you’ll get there. OnStar offers hands-free calling service that is easy to use and convenient. And with OnStar’s Roadside Assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you can get the peace of mind you need on the road, leaving more room for fun. If your vehicle is not equipped with OnStar, remember to keep a cell phone with you in the car at all times but avoid using it while driving. You may want to have your CAA card on hand as well in case you need roadside assistance.
3) Have lots of fun
- Get the tunes ready and make sure you have a selection that fits the whole family’s taste.
- Bring snacks! Finger foods, that can be eaten without utensils are perfect for long drives
- * Have fun with road games that are sure to make time fly by.
- Go through the alphabet and find countries, vegetables and animals etc. that start with each letter. See who can name the most Have someone bring and read off trivia questions from your favourite board game. Start a story and, after a couple of sentences, let the next person continue it. It’s even more fun if each person has to adopt a particular style or persona when his or her turn comes up.
- Pack a selection of movies that will keep kids busy while you concentrate on the road.
Tips on Saving Gas While on the Road:
1. Respect the speed limit. Use cruise control. Drive within the speed limit at all times and your car consumes a lot less fuel. Most cars use about 20% more fuel if driven at 110 km per hour than they use at 90 km per hour. Using cruise control can provide additional gas savings.
2. Drive evenly. Avoid hard stops. Quick starts burn gas while hard stops also cost you. Take your foot off the accelerator and coast a bit before stopping for a traffic light or a stop sign.
3. Avoid idling and rush hour traffic. You’re burning fuel while idling. So, avoid rush hour traffic when possible and keep unnecessary idling to a minimum.
4. Open windows at slow speeds. Use A/C on highways. Around town, turn your air conditioning off and put the windows down. On the highway, open windows create drag at speeds of 60 km per hour or more, so put them up and use the air conditioning.
5. Remove junk from the trunk. Added weight in your vehicle affects fuel efficiency, so take unnecessary items out of your trunk.
6. Keep your tires properly inflated. Low tire pressure can cost you. Not only is it important from a safety point of view to keep your tires at the recommended pressure, it also costs you at the pump; up to 5% more fuel is required to roll a set of 35 to 55 kPa (5 to 8 psi) under-inflated tires.
7. Don’t top off gas and tighten the cap. When buying gas, stop when the pump shuts off automatically. And remember to properly tighten the gas cap after every fill-up.
8. Use the correct fuel grade. Use the fuel grade recommended by your vehicle manufacturer.
9. Don’t accelerate uphill. Build up speed before an incline, and then maintain it on the way up. Coast on the way down for additional fuel efficiency.
10. Avoid rooftop carriers. Wind resistance becomes the biggest factor when driving on the highway, so avoid carrying things on your roof. If necessary, use an aerodynamic carrier to help minimize drag.
Last but not least, enjoy every minute of being on the open road, after all, road trips are a great time to make memories with families and exploring at your own pace.
Share your road trip memories with us by posting your pictures with #ChevyDrive, we’d love to share them with our readers!
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