Avoid a Mid-Trip Breakdown with a Pre-Trip Vehicle Check

Avoid a Mid-Trip BreakdownAfter another brutal winter, many Americans will hit the road to find better weather. If you are planning a road trip to a warm vacation destination, the Car Care Council recommends a pre-trip vehicle check to 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, 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.”

The Car Care Council recommends the following pre-trip checklist before hitting the road:

-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.

-Check out the Car Care Council website and order a free copy of the popular Car Care Guide for the glove box at www.carcare.org/car-care-guide. This 80-page booklet is available in both English and Spanish.

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 free copy of the council’s popular Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.