a car having engine troubles

Don't Spend Your Vacation on the Side of the Road

Before you hit the road for any vacation, a simple driveway inspection can give you peace of mind and save you from the inconvenience of a roadside breakdown.

Not only is it inconvenient, but breaking down in the middle of nowhere on the highway is also a potential safety hazard. Let's avoid potential car trouble by inspecting our cars in just 10 minutes. This way, if you find anything, you can have it fixed before you hit the road.

Here are four things to check before heading on your vacation:

  1. Check All Fluids - including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer fluid and antifreeze/coolant.
  2. Check the Hoses and Belts - these can become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, A/C, power steering and the cooling system.
  3. 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.
  4. Check the Wipers and Lighting - you need to be able to see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly and inspect and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during inclement weather.

Braxton Automotive also recommends that you restock your emergency kit and consider having your mileage interval service done or at least an oil change to help deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy. To further save on fuel costs during your trip, Braxton Automotive suggests that you avoid aggressive driving, use your vehicles cruise control, observe the speed limit and avoid excessive idling. Gas caps that are damaged, loose or missing should be replaced to prevent gas from spilling or evaporating.

Most importantly, enjoy your trip! Laugh as much as possible, take lots of pictures and savor every moment!