Tow truck operators serving the nationís Interstates can testify to the surprising number of travelers forced to return home ahead of schedule because of car trouble. The cost of a breakdown can easily exceed that of a repair bill with towing charges, emergency lodging and possibly a rental car. Just think: All that inconvenience is avoidable by performing factory recommended preventive maintenance and having us check your car before you head out on a major trip.
A monster in the form of car troubles can destroy your best laid travel plans. So before packing up the car, come in for a checkup. We can help make holiday travel worry-free.
If your vehicle will be due for an oil change or other regular maintenance during the time you are away, get it done before you leave. Plan ahead! Bring your car in at least a week or so before your trip, so that any servicing can be done before your vacation.
It's always important to have some basic emergency supplies, like jumper cables (in case of battery rundown), flares, a cell phone (in case of an accident), anti-freeze and even a quart or two of oil and transmission fluid (in case road debris causes a radiator or oil pan leak).
Cold weather and winter conditions can take a particularly high toll on your car. The last thing you need is to be stranded on the highway with the family during the middle of winter. Thatís why we recommend a pre-trip safety and maintenance inspection by mechanics who know your carís systems like the back of their hands.
Here are some of the cold weather checks and tests we recommend to help you avoid trouble on the road:
∑ Have Be sure to have your battery level checked. Cold weather makes starting even harder, so its important to be confident when you turn the ignition.
∑ Keep your engine running smoothly and efficiently with new engine oil and a new oil filter.
∑ Inspect all your lights, from head to tail, to make sure you and the world around you are visible in the darkness of winter.
∑ Have your tires inspected to ensure optimum tread. Heavily worn tires don't displace snow and ice as well, leading to poorer traction.
∑ While you're at it, check your tire pressure, and make sure they're inflated properly (you'll find that information in your owner's manual or on the inside of the driver's door).
∑ Make sure your wiper blades are up to snuff, and ready to sweep away the dirt and salt of winter roadways. Using a washer fluid that contains deicer or Rain-X Treatment can help you avoid early-morning ice scraping.
∑ Have a dealer inspect the belts and hoses that comprise your engine. Sub-zero temperatures can expose and worsen a frayed or cracked engine component, so it's best to make sure its all in proper working order before setting out.
∑ Sand and salt can do a number on your vehicle's air filter, and running your heating system at a high level can expose the cabin to a good deal of it, so make sure you have a fresh one.
∑ Most importantly, as noted earlier, keep fresh batteries, a blanket, non-perishable food, water, a cell phone, jumper cables, flares, Fix-a-Flat and a first aid kit close in hand. Winter and hypothermia are dangerous co-conspirators.
A pre-trip inspection significantly reduces the chances of costly and possibly dangerous road trouble. Itís almost always less expensive to have needed repairs performed by our factory-trained technicians who know your vehicle and its history. One thing you canít put a price on is peace of mind. Thatís why we urge you to bring your car in before you head out.