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How To Prepare Your Car For Vacation

How to prepare your car for a warm weather road trip.
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Every summer millions of Americans take to the highways and Interstates in search of fun, sun, and adventure. They want to take a much needed vacation from their everyday concerns and problems.

Tow truck operators in resort areas or along Interstate highways see all too many travelers forced to return home ahead of schedule. Car trouble, usually due to neglected preventive maintenance, brings an abrupt end to vacation plans.

The situation usually means more than just a repair bill, says the Car Care Council. It can involve towing charges, lodging and possibly a rental car. Add to that the cost of extra phone calls, meals and general inconvenience, and the ordeal becomes expensive. This scenario usually can be avoided with a pre-vacation inspection performed by the vehicle owner or a qualified automotive technician.

The most important thing in taking an automotive vacation is to make sure your vehicle is in top shape. A monster in the form of car troubles can destroy even the nicest vacations. So before packing suitcases, filling the cooler with drinks and snacks and whipping out your trusty road atlas, take some time to make sure that your vehicle is ready to take you to paradise. All it takes is a few minutes of preventative maintenance in your driveway and you can help eliminate hours of costly on-the-road problems.

The following items include things that most people can do for themselves very easily just by reading the vehicle's owner's manual. If you don't have the time or lack the confidence to do these things yourself, take it to your local dealership or trusted repair shop and have them give the car a good going over. If your vehicle is due for an oil change or other regular maintenance in the time you are away, get it done before you leave. However you choose to prep your vehicle, do it at least a week or so before the trip, so that if the car needs any servicing it can be done before your vacation.

I had a customer come into the shop 30 minutes before closing on a Saturday afternoon with the car packed to the roof rack with luggage, camping gear and a wife and three kids. He wanted a tune-up, oil and filter change and front brakes replaced. And as soon as we were done, he was leaving for Colorado.

The trip was delayed until the following Monday afternoon when we were finished with all the work.

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Additional Information provided courtesy of
ALLDATAdiy.com and Warranty Direct
© 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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