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Preparing the Car for Long Trips

Going on a long road trip can be an exhilarating experience. However having your automobile stranded in the middle of the road can led to a frustrating occurrence for you as well as your family. In avoiding this aggravation, here are a few tips to prepare your car for a road trip:

* Examine lights on the car, replace bulbs and clean any dirt off the lights. Carry extra bulbs in your glove compartment.

* Inspect windshield washer for any wear and tear, if any streak are visible when in use change the blades. A good rule to keep in mind is to change the blades once a year.

* Verify that tire pressure is at proper levels (check the owner’s manual for the recommended level).

* Check the cars battery. If the vehicle cranks slowly as you start it, have the battery checked. Change the battery if more than 3 years old. Ensure that there is no corrosion on the battery cables. Make sure to avoid contact with corrosion acid, by using gloves and goggles.

* Visible examine the hoses and belts. Examine the hoses and belts for small cracks and tears. Employ the services of a mechanic that can tighten or change the hose and belt if necessary.

* Always, check fluids within the car. Utilize a 50-50 mix of anti-freeze and water in the vehicles coolant system. Refer to your owner’s manual for anti-freeze specifications and levels. Remove any anti-freeze cooling from the system after every two years. Furthermore, a good back-up plan, keep an extra supply of anti-freeze and motor oil in the trunk in case levels suddenly drop during your trip.

* Watch the temperature gauge as you drive, especially if traffic is slowed or not moving. If the temperature gauge is constantly increasing but the light has not come on, shut off the air conditioner or heater. Stop driving if the temperature light suddenly comes on. Pull to the side of the road to a safe area. Turn off the engine and let the engine cool allow the engine to cool enough before remove the radiator cap.

* Traveling in summer months of June, July, August, monitor the air conditioner by turning it on and allow it to run for several minutes. Cool air should quickly fill the car, if this occurs then the air conditions is fine.

* Always map your route, think of places where you will stop for overnight stays. Leave information of where you are going with a friend or love one. For the latest road conditions tune into local radio stations for possible delays or accidents. Get enough rest, before driving and (if possible) avoid driving at night.

* In December, January February, dress warmly. Carry a winter survival kit in the trunk of your car, bring several blankets and layered clothing.

* Change the small donut spare tire, which comes with many cars with a full-size tire. The manufactured donut tire cannot be driven more than 50 miles.

* Before going on your road trip have your oil changed and the filter replaced.

* Lastly, let a professional mechanic check your car to make sure it is road ready for a long trip. Have the mechanic check all the major systems.


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