A man in a blue jacket standing in front of a mountain.

Jun 15, 2021

6 min. read

If you’re headed out on the road this summer, whether it’s for a road trip, driving to the cottage or just exploring your neighbourhood, here are six things you should do to get your vehicle ready for the season.


Examine your tires

Check your tire pressure, ensuring it meets the manufacturer’s recommendations, which are found in the driver’s side door sill.

You’ll also want to inspect your tires for gouges and, using a tire gauge, measure the tread depth. Replace tires if they have less than 3⁄32" or 2 mm, says Ryan Peterson, manager of automotive services with CAA South Central Ontario.

Do a washer fluid and oil check

Top up your washer fluid. Peterson recommends switching over to a summertime formulation, which does a better job of dissolving proteins found in bug splatter, once the warm weather hits. (It has a higher freezing point, though, so make sure to swap it out before winter.)

After that, check your oil. Always follow manufacturer guidelines for either the length of time or mileage between changes. You can also check it at home between recommended changes—the level should reach the marking on your dipstick and be light brown and viscous. If the oil is thick and black, change it right away, even if you haven’t hit the manufacturer limit yet.

Have your car battery tested

It also never hurts to have your battery tested. Members can call CAA’s mobile Battery Service, which can send a technician to wherever you are. They’ll check your battery and, if necessary, replace it with a new one. Members save $25 on the purchase of a new battery.

Wash your car

Give your vehicle a thorough scrubbing to remove caked-on dirt and salt, which can cause rust build up to the undercarriage of your car, where your brakes and muffler are located. Peterson recommends first running your vehicle through a touchless car wash, opting for the undercarriage cleaning. (Avoid brush washes—they’ll scratch your paint.) At home, give it a deep clean inside and out with specialized automotive products. Steer clear of using dish detergents, which can ruin your car’s finish. (Clickhere for more tips on washing your car.)

Have more questions?

Connect with CAA’s team of auto experts, who can provide complimentary advice you can rely on.

Image credit: iStock/gilaxia

Share this article: