Kelly's Garage - Active Green and Ross - June 2012

 
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This month’s topic is preparing for the summer road trip, which many of you are  probably doing right now!  I thought I would share with you an interesting road trip I had a number of years ago, but it wasn’t the normal type of road trip.  About 8 or 9 years ago I was asked to participate in a race called the One Lap of America, which was sort of like the Cannonball run.  I had a co-driver which I met at the airport when he picked me up,  and our car was a Ford Focus SVT.  Our teammate was Andrew Firestone,  you might remember from the Bachelor.  The One Lap of America competition was to go from race track to race track and put in 3-4 laps at each track for a total combined time.  The thing is, these race tracks were sometimes 10 hours or more apart.  Sleep was a luxury that we didn’t get a lot of and we even had to miss one event because we broke down and had to take the car to the dealer to get repaired.  In total, we drove about 5,000 miles ( 8,047 kms) in one week!  I remember frequently checking the oil at many gas fill ups :)  If you are planning your very own summer road trip, I wish you safe travels.


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If you are going to be stopped for more than 60 seconds, except in traffic it is best to turn the engine off. This will help you save some of your precocious gas!  Some manufacturers like BMW are incorporating “auto off” features into their vehicles. This feature will automatically shut your car off at a stoplight.

This month's topic: Summer Road Trip Preparation

With the kids out of school many people are starting to plan summer holidays and for many of us it will include a driving trip to some destination.  It may be a short trip or it may be a few weeks long, but in either case we want to make sure that the transportation we are using is in good condition.  Nobody wants to start out their vacation on a bad note because of something that could’ve been avoided.    Checking out your transportation can take as little as 10 minutes and it could save a potential breakdown or worse yet, unhappy kids.

Here of some of the basic things we should be checking on our vehicle before we head out down the road.  First, check your fluids- it should go without saying that checking your oil is pretty important, but don’t forget about the other fluids.  Have a look at the coolant reservoir, as well as the brake fluid reservoir.  Next on the list should be your tire pressures.  Having a “blow-out” on the highway is a scary experience and remember, under-inflated tires are your biggest reason for “blow-outs” and they also make you burn more gas! (Tire pressures should be checked monthly). Fluids and tires are your most important items to check, but don’t forget to have a look at your hoses while the hood is up; and what about your headlights and brake lights, as well as your windshield wipers?  There are many people who have burned out brake lights and headlights on their vehicle.  If people don’t know when you are braking, that’s a problem!  If you encounter a summer rainstorm you want to be able to see where you are going.  When was the last time you changed your wiper blades? 

All of the above items can be checked by you, but if you don’t feel comfortable doing it or perhaps you know something else might be starting to go wrong with your vehicle, then you should definitely make an appointment to take it in to your local Active Green and Ross to have an inspection done on your vehicle.  We often spend hours planning our trip but totally forget to make sure our transportation is in good working order.  A well maintained vehicle is much more reliable and more fuel efficient as well.  You can download a Family Road Trip Guide from the link I provided below.  This guide includes some great car games you can play with your kids, as well as what snacks are “car friendly”, and what should go in a first aid kit.


Take care of your car and it will take care of you!

This months photo:

Summer Road Trip Guide photo and link.
http://www.carcarecanada.ca/consumer.cfm?changelanguage=english

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