Car Time – July 2020


Getting Ready to Hit the Road

    I know we are feeling a bit cooped up while still sheltering. Even if we are sheltering while working, we just go home after work. We yearn to drive somewhere to eat or stay over.
    At this writing, we are in stage two of California’s Pandemic Roadmap. What that means is we have learned to be responsible, testing systems have been put in place, and the curve has somewhat flattened.
    Low-risk businesses are starting to open. However, we have to be patient and wait for stage three. That means we get to go to “higher risk venues” like restaurants, concerts and movies. We can do things like drive up the coast to get oysters or take a weekend to Lake Tahoe and actually go out to dinner!
    Some of you folks may avoid a flying vacation and would rather take a road trip. We do have to be smart when we go out into the world because the pandemic is far from over. We still must consider the interactions we will have and think about the safety of our families.
    How do we stay safe when we travel? Remember the virus is everywhere. When we go out, we see and talk to people we do not know. We wear masks, but what else? When you stop at roadside a rest stop, you will end up touching many surfaces without even thinking about it.
    When this occurs you will then go and touch things in the car. So routine wipe downs of your interior are recommended.
    Is the family trip-mobile road ready? Local motorists report their vehicles have been idle during the pandemic. Sitting for long periods is not great for your vehicle. It is always a good idea to have it checked out before you hit the road.
    An extended sitting period will accelerate the failure of your battery. Check the maintenance history of your vehicle and understand what services may be required. Once you know your vehicle is ready, then I suggest the normal pre-trip preparations.
    Even if your car is checked out, you could run into trouble on the road. It is better to be prepared. It is good to bring along a kit, which includes items like jumper cables, road flares, a flash light, water, blankets, snacks and spare masks.
    It is also a good idea to make sure your road service/towing is up to date and you have the information you need with the correct phone numbers. Always let someone know you are traveling, how to reach you and when you plan on returning.
    As usual, I implore you to be a good consumer of automotive repair. Trust your local car care provider and hit the road!

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