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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So my friends organized a track day. I'm wanting to go join in my daily driver. 2014 SXT automatic, fully stock.
first track day ever.

I know I should probably be ready with new brake pads and tires and a set for afterwards.
and maybe tools and oil for an oil change.

anything else should I prep on/in the car before I go?


2,614 Posts
Fresh oil and oil filter.

Unless done in the last 6 months a brake fluid flush/bleed should be done. Tracking will heat the fluid up something fierce and the presence of water will lower the boiling point and this will affect brake operation. Brakes are a vital safety system and this means the fluid is a vital fluid, as vital as oil and coolant. Maybe more so. If the engine doesn't go you don't die. If the brakes don't work...

No need to flush and fill with special fluid. Some fluids require a special flush operation and once one switches to the special brake fluid one can't switch back. Also, a special fluid can bring with it problems if the car is taken in for service and the tech adds factory fluid to the brake fluid reservoir.

Other services: Fuel filter, engine air filter, plugs; should be up to date.

The car should have *no* issues! The track is not the place to show up with a coolant leak, a tire that won't hold air, or some odd noise coming from somewhere.

Tires should have some tread life and should not be showing signs of uneven wear.

Likewise the brake hardware should have some life left. Pad wear can be ferocious at the track. Also, worn pads even if they don't wear out will get much hotter than fresh pads. Likewise, worn/thin rotors will feel the effects of the demands of tracking more so than new/thicker rotors.

In short fresh pads and rotors are better than worn out pads and rotors.

Be sure the car's cabin and trunk are free of any loose objects. Last thing you want is an old forgotten water bottle to come out from under the driver's seat and get under the brake pedal. Or just having something rattling in the glove box, center console, or anywhere in the car. If you carry a cell phone with you in the car on the track turn the phone off.You want as few distractions as possible while on the track.

If racing fuel is sold at the track try to show up with as little street gasoline in the tank as is prudent. Fill up the tank with racing gasoline. Besides its higher octane number it will (should if it is *real* racing fuel) bring with it other benefits -- mainly it burns better at higher engine speeds which is critical for tracking. I see no reason to go to all the trouble and expense of participating in a track day only to cheap out when it comes time to buy some racing fuel.

Be sure to bring plenty of water.

On this note, try to arrange for a spouse/GF/friend to attend with you -- ideally in another vehicle -- so you can have a place to carry/hold extra water, protein snacks, cell phone charger, cell phone, etc., when you are on the track.

If possible before you leave the track after a session take a cool down lap to let the engine and drivetrain/brakes shed some of the heat load.

In the pits let the engine idle a few minutes longer. If the wind is blowing try to park heading into the wind. This will help carry heat away from the car.

If available in your car call up the coolant or oil temperature and keep an eye on these. If the coolant temperature or the oil temperature climbs to a scary level your session is over with. You have to remember these cars are not necessarily setup to deal with the rigors of sustained high speed driving so don't push things. You can't make a race car out of a street car just by showing up at a track with a helmet and the entry fee.
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