Nothing can ruin a family vacation more than breaking down on the side of the road. This situation can quickly turn your pleasant road trip into a disaster.

So, how do you avoid it? While accidents may happen at any time, checking and preparing your vehicle before you go can greatly reduce your chance of dealing with car trouble.


Get an oil change. If you haven’t changed your oil in a while, now’s a good time, especially if you’re already planning on popping into an automotive centre. Check your car’s owner’s manual to see how often you should change your oil. Remember that the old 3000-mile rule doesn’t hold true for modern cars.

Prepare a spare tire. It’s always a good idea to have a spare tire and tools stowed away in your car. That way, if you find yourself on the side of the road with a blown-out tire, you can replace it quickly and head to a repair shop.

Check tire pressure. Besides having a spare tire ready, you can prevent tire accidents in advance by checking that your tire pressure is at its ideal level. The recommended tire pressure is usually written on the inside of your car’s door or in the owner’s manual. Make sure you check tire pressure after your car has been sitting for a while; friction from driving increases tire pressure.

Stock emergency stuff. Don’t forget about emergency essentials such as blankets, flashlights, band aids, medicine, food, tools, emergency reflectors, and anything else you feel necessary.

Be prepared with documents. Bring your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance cards with you, just in case. You may also want to bring an extra set of keys.

Check your car. While you’re in the shop, it’s a great idea to have a technician perform a thorough check to make sure everything in your car is good to go for a long trip. This includes belts, hoses, lights, engine coolant, brakes, etc. Some automotive centres will try to charge you extra for repairs you don’t need. However, if you find a trustworthy auto shop, they will give you a comprehensive list of repair options and an accurate estimate on the prices.

Get repairs. Is your windshield cracked? Is your air conditioning out of commission? Is your transmission malfunctioning? You may have been delaying getting needed repairs to your car, but now is not the time for delay. Bring your car in to a trustworthy technician and get all the repairs taken care of.

National Transmission is Calgary’s leading repair centre for both automatic and manual transmissions, and our technicians would be happy to repair your transmission if needed. Get your transmission and your other repairs done before you hit the road and enjoy a smooth, stress-free trip!

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