One of the great joys of summer is the family road trip. Make sure Old Breakdown doesn’t live up to its name by taking some simple steps to avoid potential problems that could ruin your vacation.
Schedule a tune-up to help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy and produce the lowest level of emissions.
Check the brake system and make sure the battery connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.
Check filters and fluids, including engine oil, antifreeze/coolant, windshield washer and power steering, brake and transmission fluids. Dirty air filters can waste gas and cause the engine to lose power.
Check hoses and belts and replace if they 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. Under-inflated 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.
Late model cars have automatic service alerts through the on-board navigation system. If yours doesn’t, sign up for the Car Care Council’s free personalized schedule and e-mail reminder service. It’s free and a simple way to help you take better care of your vehicle throughout the year, not just summertime.
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photo courtesy Car Care Council