Is Your Car Ready for The Extreme Heat? – A Checklist

With Environment Canada’s latest Heat Warning issued across British Columbia, it is important to check the safety of your vehicle before heading out for the August long weekend. After all, nothing ruins a vacation like a broken-down car! 

Before you leave – a heat-ready road trip packing list:

  • Full water bottles – use insulated bottles like Corkciscle or Stanley to keep them cool longer
  • Sports drinks with electrolytes – like Gatorade, Powerade, or Nuun hydration tablets – sweating depletes the salt in your body.
  • Stick-on window shades for the back windows
  • Phone charging cables and external battery (charged)
  • Battery-powered fans
  • Sun hats and comfortable shoes – if you break down, be prepared for a walk.

Tips from the BCAA:

Have your trusted mechanic check the level and concentration of engine coolant and top up as necessary. Check your owner’s manual to find your vehicle’s correct coolant type and strength. 

Ensure the air conditioner is blowing cold air. If it’s not, you might want to get it checked for leaks, or it may require a flush. 

Change your oil regularly to help prolong your engine’s life. Check your owner’s manual for when the service intervals should be. 

Check the age and strength of the battery. Heat is harder on a tired cell than cold. A five-year-old battery is usually nearing retirement. 

Ensure tires are properly inflated and in good condition. Replace them if they’re cracked or low on tread. Don’t forget the spare. 

Keep the gas tank more than half full. This will keep the fuel cool and not overwork your alternator. 

Use folding sunshades when parked to lower the temperature inside the vehicle. 

Slow down on the road. This saves gas and reduces the likelihood of the engine overheating. 

Be prepared for a breakdown. Carry water, food, a fully charged phone and some type of portable shade, such as a hat or umbrella. In case you have to call for help, dial 1.800.222.4357 for BCAA Roadside Assistance.  

Of course – never, ever leave a child or animal inside a locked car. Your A/C might be on when you leave but if the battery goes, it heats up FAST.

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