Avoid Summer Trip Auto Breakdown With Simple Pre-Trip Vehicle Self-Check

BETHESDA, Md., May 20, 2014 -- 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. 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.

"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 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.

Source: Car Care Council