If your summer vacation plans include a road trip, the last thing you want is to have unexpected car trouble to leave you stranded at the side of the road, ruining all the fun. A pre-trip vehicle check is the best way to be car care aware and ensure that your car is ready to get you to your destination, says the non-profit Car Care Council.
The Car Care Council recommends the following pre-trip checklist before hitting the road this summer:
- Check the brake system and make sure the battery connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.
- Check filters and fluids, including engine oil, power steering and brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant. Dirty air filters can waste gas and cause the engine to lose power.
- Check the hoses and belts that can become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.
- Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Underinflated tires reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy and uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
- Check that the gas cap is not damaged, loose or missing to prevent gas from spilling or evaporating.
- Order a free copy of the Car Care Council’s popular Car Care Guide for the glove box at www.carcare.org/car-care-guide. This 60-page booklet is available in both English and Spanish.
“Taking steps to have auto repairs performed before long distance driving this summer will not only give you peace of mind, but will also help avoid the inconvenience and potential safety hazards of breaking down when you’re miles from home,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.
The Car Care Council’s free personalized schedule and email reminder service is a simple way to help you take better care of your vehicle this summer and throughout the year. It is an easy-to-use resource designed to help you drive smart, save money and make informed decisions.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide, which is now available electronically, or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.