With school out for the summer, many families are planning vacation road trips. Performing a pre-trip auto care inspection lessens the chance of a roadside breakdown for all motorists, and is even more important for those driving older vehicles.
According to AAA roadside data, “vehicles 10 years and older are twice as likely to be stranded at the roadside, and four times more likely to require a tow.” The findings also show that the top reasons for requiring a tow are battery and electrical systems issues (23 percent), engine cooling system failures (11 percent) and tire damage that cannot be repaired or replaced at the roadside (10 percent).
We at Osceola Garage urge all drivers to ensure your vehicle is road-trip ready to minimize the chance of car trouble away from home. With the average vehicle age exceeding 11.5 years and the odds of a roadside breakdown much greater for those with older vehicles, a pre-trip vehicle inspection is especially important to help ensure a stress-free journey. We recommend a vehicle check prior to departure to avoid the hassle and unexpected expense of car trouble away from home, including:
- Check the battery and replace if necessary. Be sure the electrical system is charging at the correct rate; overcharging can damage a battery as quickly as undercharging. Excessive heat and overcharging can shorten the life of a battery.
- Check the HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) system; as proper cooling performance is critical for interior comfort.
- Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
- Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake, and transmission as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
- Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.
We also recommend inspecting the brake system, making sure the oil change is up to date, all factory maintenances are up to date, checking and restocking the emergency kit, and fully charging cell phones before leaving home. And don’t forget your cell phone charger.
To keep your vehicle running in top performance see our special summer offer click here for details. http://www.osceolagarage.com/promotions/Summer-maintenance-package/
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 the latest car care news, visit the council’s online media room at http://media.carcare.org.