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Tips & Advice

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Going On a Road Trip?

Find out what preparations you should take before venturing out on a long trip.

Pre-Trip Maintenance

Your car needs special attention before you go on a long driving trip. Starting a vacation with a car that has mechanical problems is a sure fire way to ruin a trip. Take some simple precautions before you hit the road to help make your vacation more pleasant.

Cooling System

The cooling system needs to be flushed and re-filled at least once a year in order to keep the cooling system in good working order. If your coolant hasn’t been changed during the past year get the radiator flushed and filled before you start your trip.

Your air conditioning is very important on those summer car trips. Check the air conditioning. Is it cold? If not, have a technician inspect it to find out why..

Drive Belts/Hoses

Drive belts and hoses can deteriorate with age and heat. Check all the belts and hoses in your car for signs of cracks or leaking. Also, check the tension of the belts. Any cracked or damaged belts or hoses should be replaced before heading out on the road for a long trip.

Battery

A dead battery is one of the more common reasons for break-downs. Make sure yours is in good condition before you take that trip.

Engine

If your car is due for a tune-up soon go ahead and get one before leaving on a long trip. A tune-up will make the ride easier on you and your car. Check your owner’s manual for the proper intervals for tuning up your engine.

Fluids

Make sure to check the levels of transmission fluid, engine oil, brake fluid, washer fluid, power steering fluid, and of course, gas. If you are due for an oil change get one before you take the trip.

Tip! Keeping the gas tank at least half full will not only help control condensation inside the tank, keeping fuel free of water, but may also save you from running out of gas in an unexpected traffic jam!

Suspension

If you are going to be towing something or carrying a heavy load you should definitely get your shocks and springs checked out to make sure they can handle the load.

Tires

Make sure all the tires are properly inflated to the specifications in your owner’s manual and have plenty of tread with no uneven wear.

Don’t forget your spare tire! In an emergency you don’t want to find out that your spare is flat. Take it out of the trunk and give it a “once over” to make sure everything is in working order.

Brakes

Have your brakes inspected prior to your trip to ensure that everything is in good working order.

Exhaust System

Check for any loose hangers or holes in the muffler and pipes.

Windshield Wipers

Most people don’t think about their windshield wipers until they are no longer working. Don’t wait until you need them to find out your wipers need to be replaced. Check them before your trip.

Refill your windshield washer fluid.

Lights

Test the brake lights, turn signals, and headlights to make sure they work properly and have enough illumination.