Planning A Winter Road Trip? Plan For These 3 Repairs First

Posted on: 4 November 2021

Road trips might make for unforgettable experiences for you and your family, but they're one of the most stressful events in your car's life. Long road trips often involve traveling for significant differences over varying terrains and climates, sometimes with only a handful of stops along the way. This activity can strain a car that otherwise seems to be running well.

Since few things bring down an otherwise enjoyable trip like an unplanned repair stop, it's usually a good idea to do everything you can to avoid breakdowns on the road. Preventing roadside emergencies in the winter is especially critical when conditions may be unpredictable and help may take longer to arrive. These three repairs will help ensure your next winter adventure doesn't turn into a frigid disaster.

1. Address Fluid Loss

Do you routinely need to top up on oil or add coolant to your radiator? These issues can indicate leaks or other problems. While adding a few drops of fluid now and then might not seem like much of a problem, it can become a more significant issue when you're driving for hours on end. Running low on vital fluids such as engine oil, coolant, or transmission fluid can rapidly damage your car.

Cold weather can also cause gaskets and seals to harden, making any existing leaks worse. A slow loss of coolant may get worse as the winter progresses, causing your car to overheat suddenly during long drives. If you're not confident in your car's ability to keep fluids where they need to be, you should schedule a repair visit before you leave on your next trip.

2. Repair or Replace Tires

Check your tires for adequate tread depth and look for signs of evident damage, such as bubbling or uneven wear patterns. Driving on damaged tires can lead to unpredictable and dangerous handling on icy or snowy roads. If you do nothing else for your car before a cold-weather trip, be sure to replace any suspect tires. It's also worth considering snow tires if you'll be driving through icy climates.

3. Fix Exhaust Leaks

Exhaust leaks are more than just a loud nuisance. Leaks in your exhaust system allow harmful gases to escape from locations other than the rear of your car, potentially exposing occupants to toxic fumes. These leaks are hazardous in the winter since anything that plugs your exhaust pipe (such as snow!) will push gases back towards these alternate exit points.

Fixing exhaust leaks will help protect you and your family if you find yourself stuck on the side of a snowy road during your road trip. Because exhaust fumes are so harmful, you should never treat an exhaust leak as a minor problem.

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