Summer is at its peak and so is the vacation travel season, often involving long driving trips with the whole family on board.
Whether you're planning a cross-Canada trek, crossing the border for some shopping and sight-seeing or just heading up to cottage country, it’s important to make sure your vehicle is safe and properly prepped before you take to the open road. There are lots of places you might consider to shop for essential road trip items, but have you checked eBay lately? It could be your one-stop shop.
eBay offers an unparalleled range of choice and value for shoppers with different needs, wants and budgets. There’s a great selection, from car basics like wipers, blind spot mirrors and batteries to such rare and hard-to-find parts as a Mopar seat-belt buckle or a Mazda CX-5 all-weather cargo mat. And a huge bonus — you can find daily deep discounts at eBay.ca/deals with free nationwide shipping on Canadian deals, and no membership required. Plus, with eBay’s Best Price Guarantee, you can be confident you’re getting the best Canadian online deals!
To help readers get road trip-ready, we spoke to automotive expert, Petrina Gentile to learn some of her tips on what to do — and buy — before hitting the open road this summer, including a few of her top picks from eBay.
Check your car's oil and other fluids.
It’s vacation time, and the last thing you need is to run out of gas, or the less obvious fluids like engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission fluids. Have these levels checked and topped up before hitting the road. Don’t forget to top up on washer fluid, too — mosquitoes and other flying insects can make a real mess of a windshield and restrict your visibility. Clean the inside of the windshield as well, as it tends to build up a layer of airborne grime that can restrict vision.
Check your car's engine.
Before hitting the road for a long trip, it’s a perfect opportunity to check your engine operation and have it tuned, if necessary. Before turning it over to a mechanic or repair shop you might want to check for any trouble codes stored in the vehicle, using the same kind of scanner/diagnostic tool a mechanic will use. That should help avoid any unexpected surprises. eBay.ca offers several options for engine diagnostic tools.
Check your vehicle's hoses and belts
Avoid engine overheating or getting caught in summer heat with no air conditioning! A belt that fails can affect the electrical system, air conditioning and power steering, as well as the cooling system. Cooling system hoses may be deteriorating from within, so old hoses and clamps in marginal condition might need to be replaced. eBay.ca has a full selection of hoses and belts for your car's air conditioning system and the cooling system.
Check your car tires before you travel
Don’t get caught on the side of the road while the rest of your family and friends roast marshmallows by the campfire. Check tire inflation and also inspect the tread for uneven wear (indicating the need for wheel alignment). Also look for bulges and bald spots. Take no chances: if the tread is improperly or excessively worn or there are apparent bulges, it’s time to replace the tire.
Check Your Car's Interior and Exterior Lighting
Summer road trip destinations are often off the beaten path, so you can’t afford to get stuck with dull or malfunctioning lights. Check all exterior and interior lighting to identify any problems prior to setting off. Ensure you replace any malfunctioning lights with new LED Headlights and do the same with your vehicle's brake and tail lights. When your vehicle’s lighting is defective, other motorists may not get the message that you intend to stop or turn. Take preventative measures to ensure the safety of your passengers, fellow drivers and yourself, of course.
Check the wiper blades
Make sure the windshield wipers are in good condition and working properly, and make sure the reservoir is filled with solvent. Worn-out wipers should be checked and replaced if needed prior to a road trip. As a rule of thumb, windshield wipers should be replaced every six months.
And here's a bonus tip: If you'll be towing a trailer, make sure it's thoroughly inspected too, including tires, lights, tie-downs and vehicle attachment hardware. You'll also need to ensure that the trailer hitch has been thoroughly inspected. Its also important to ensure any loose items are securely tied down with winch straps.
Performing a pre-trip vehicle inspection, or having it done by a professional, can help avoid a breakdown far from home and let you enjoy your summer to the max. Follow these simple tips and head to eBay.ca for all of your road trip essentials at great value all in one place. Happy travels!