Avoid a breakdown with a pre-trip vehicle check

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If you are planning a road trip to a warm vacation destination, a pre-trip vehicle check can help you avoid the inconvenience and potential safety hazards of breaking down miles from home.

“Spring break time is finally here. While jumping in the car and heading to a warmer climate may sound like a great idea, don’t forget to make sure your car is road ready before you go,” said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. “A pre-trip vehicle check will give you peace of mind because you can take steps to have any needed repairs performed before you go.”

White recommends the following pre-trip checklist:

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.

(Car Care Council)

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