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Family Matters

Get Road Trip Ready

June 25th, 2013

By: Grahame Griffin

It’s the summer which means it's a great time to head out on a road trip! Whether you’re driving a short distance or across the country, here are some tips to ensure that you and your vehicle are prepared for your next adventure:

• Schedule a checkup at a service centre. Getting a tune-up is a great way to ensure everything is in working order and ready to go. A vehicle in top shape will have a better chance of staying reliable and efficient.

• Stay charged. Check your battery to make sure it’s strong and has clean terminals: A little baking soda and water will do the job. A road trip is no fun if your car won’t start.

• Read the rubber. The tires should have a good amount of tread left. The easiest way to measure this is to hold a quarter upside down in the tread. If the top of the Queen's head is visible, you need new tires.

• Give it a break. Have a service station inspect your car’s brake pads to make sure they aren’t worn or need replacing.

• Be prepared. Bring supplies in the event of an accident or medical issue. Stock your car with an emergency kit—especially a flashlight, blanket, firstaid kit, and some basic tools. Also, bring water and extra snacks, just in case.

• Track it. A portable GPS navigation system will help you get where you’re going, making it easy to find gas stations or restaurants along the way. Traffic-enabled devices can warn of roadway congestion and assist in finding an alternate route.

• Kid prep. If you’re driving with children, make sure you pack enough snacks, water, games and books to keep them busy during the journey.

Grahame Griffin works for Southside Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep and RV Center. Give him a call at 403-352-0365, or visit them online at

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