Road trip disasters

As July comes to a close, and the weather in the Okanagan finally appears to be behaving like summer, road trip season is in full swing.

While road trips should be focused on getting away from the stress of everyday life, unexpected issues can throw a wrench in the best-laid plans.

One such unexpected issue that can plague northern B.C. motorists is porcupines.

“People run over them all the time without realizing how much damage they can cause,” said Cory Byrne, assistant manager at Kal Tire in Fort Nelson.

Porcupine quills can be five to 15 centimetres long and can get lodged in the sidewalls of tires, leading to flats.

In addition to the scourge of porcupines on the Alaskan Highway north of Fort Nelson, Byrne says he's seen a hunting knife lodged in the side of a tire, as well as railway spikes and wrenches.

Using the wrong parts on a vehicle can result in disaster as well.

Ryan Rempel, manager at the Kal Tire in Creston, says two people came into his shop last spring, complaining of a thumping noise coming from the wheels.

It turned out, they had recently switched from winter tires to summer tires and had used the same lug nuts, not realizing the summer wheels required special ones.

They were travelling to Calgary, but luckily stopped in Creston to investigate the noise.

“All four of those wheels could have fallen off,” said Rempel.

Conducting a pre-trip check of the vehicle before hitting the highway can help ensure an enjoyable, stress-free trip.  

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