Before heading out on any tour of America, drivers should make sure their vehicles are road-ready. AAA has these car care tips for people planning long drives:
- Keep Your Car Hydrated.
Fluids such as motor oil, transmission fluid, engine coolant, brake fluid and windshield washer fluid are vital to proper vehicle operation and safe driving. All fluids should be topped off and in good condition before departure.
- See the Roads Clearly.
Long trips often mean nighttime driving. Drivers need to ensure their headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals function properly. In rainy weather, good wiper blades are essential to clear vision.
- Check for Wear and Tear.
Drivers should look for any vehicle components that seem worn or damaged. Battery cables should be securely attached, and terminals should be corrosion-free.
Radiator and heater hoses should show no visible signs of wear, soft spots or bulges, and there should be no coolant leakage around hose connections or the water pump. Engine drive belts, checked with the engine off and cool, should have proper tension. Any belt that is cracked, glazed or frayed should be replaced.
- Keep on Rolling.
No car is safe without good tires. Drivers need to check their tires regularly and keep them inflated -; including the spare -; to the pressures recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. To prolong tire life, owners should rotate their tires at the mileage intervals specified in the owner's manual.
- Consult an Expert.
While some motorists are comfortable with performing vehicle checks and inspections themselves, many more would be better served by having a trained technician look over their vehicle before an extended road trip.
If you need assistance locating a qualified technician in your area, visit the Automotive page of AAA.com to locate a AAA Approved Auto Repair shop in your area. Approved Auto Repair shops are certified by AAA to meet and maintain high professional standards.