Fall checkups and vehicle repairs are especially important because most owners have subjected their vehicles to wear and tear through the peak summer driving months, and will soon be putting them through their paces in winter driving.
"Many travelers spend hours researching destinations, mapping routes and making reservations at the finest inns and restaurants, yet ruin the entire experience with a broken belt or car tire issue that could have been quickly addressed beforehand," said Peter Lord, executive director, GM Service Operations. "Above all, the No. 1 item travelers should pack this fall is a fully functioning vehicle."
Lord and Goodwrench offer a list of the top five recommended items a vehicle often needs repaired before going on a road trip that owners sometimes don't think about or aren't aware need fixing:
1) Check tire tread and pressure.
2) Replace windshield wiper blades.
3) Fill washer fluid.
4) Check coolant level.
5) Check oil level and change, if needed.
Fall can be a hectic time of year, with kids going back to school and weekend road trips, so GM has a number of technologies that let drivers enjoy the fall instead of worrying about vehicle maintenance. GM's Simplified Maintenance schedule, OnStar Vehicle Diagnostic e-mail notifications, Oil Life System (OLS) and other advanced technologies are designed to take the guesswork out of maintaining a vehicle.
When the OLS monitor indicates it's time for an oil change, which is usually longer than 3,000 miles based on personal driving characteristics and engine data, a Goodwrench technician at your local dealership will change the oil and perform a Multi-Point Vehicle Inspection to address any other maintenance the vehicle may need.
Additional fall travel tips Goodwrench recommends before hitting the road include:
• Have a technician check the car's belts, hoses, brakes and lights and make any necessary repairs.
• Make sure there's a properly inflated spare tire, jack, lug wrench and other tools for changing a tire.
• Pack a cell phone and a way to recharge it. Also, pack a working flashlight with extra batteries, emergency reflectors, sunglasses and first-aid kit.
• Carry a spare set of vehicle keys.
• Don't forget proof of insurance, vehicle registration and medical insurance cards. Birth certificates or passports may be required for travel into Canada and Mexico; check beforehand.
• Leave a copy of your route, planned return date and contact information with a trusted neighbor.
• Take prescription information for any medications the family is taking, as well as physicians' phone numbers.
• If your vehicle is equipped with a communication system like OnStar, this is a good time to familiarize yourself with how it works-before you hit the road.
Goodwrench is the service brand for GM vehicles and is one of the largest automotive full-service providers in the industry. For more information, visit the Web site at www.goodwrench.com.