Dream Vacation or Nightmare Road Trip? Pre-Trip Vehicle Check Can Make the Difference
Road trip car trouble can be a real nightmare, but performing a pre-trip vehicle check helps drivers avoid a vacation breakdown disaster, says the Car Care Council.
“When dreaming about summer vacation, the thought of a roadside breakdown can be terrifying,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Performing a pre-trip driveway inspection gives motorists peace of mind by reducing the chance of unplanned, costly car trouble and providing an opportunity to have any repairs performed by a trusted technician before hitting the road.”
Right in their own driveway, motorists can determine how road ready their vehicle is with a 10-minute vehicle check. If service or repairs are needed, they can be performed in advance to ensure safety and reliability on the road.
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 the hoses and belts as they 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 filters and fluids including engine oil, power steering and brake, and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly and inspect and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.
Check the brakes and battery to be sure the battery connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free and that the brakes are functioning properly.
The Car Care Council also recommends that motorists restock their emergency kit, consider a pre-trip tune-up to help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy, and 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.
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 or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.