As you hit the road for this year’s vacation, you may see an increasing number of vehicles on the sides of the highway broken down with mechanical problems or flat tires. Don’t derail your travel fun by being one of them. A few simple steps will help you avoid being stuck on the side of the road – or at least be prepared in the event it happens.
- Routine review of maintenance basics can save you expensive vehicle repairs. Get your vehicle road-ready having your mechanic examine your vehicle before you depart.
- Summer can be rough on your vehicle’s cooling system. Check your coolant levels and inspect for cracked hoses, fraying belts and leaks.
- The most important safety feature on your vehicle is your brakes. Squealing brakes should get your attention, but scraping or grinding noises should be tended to immediately.
- Replace your windshield wiper blades before you get caught in a rain storm. If your wipers are leaving streaks or they do not clear away light rain in one pass, you need to replace them. A quick visit to an auto parts store will get you the right blades for your vehicle.
- Have an emergency kit handy in your trunk, in case you do break down on the road. These can be purchased as an assembled kit or you can put your own together. Items to include are: jumper cables, jack and tire iron, water for the radiator and for you, emergency flares and reflectors, gloves, screwdrivers and wrenches in various sizes, a quart of oil, blanket, towel and flashlight. Always have your emergency roadside service numbers handy in your wallet and in the glove box.
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