Pretrip Automobile Maintenance Check

When taking a road trip, even for a couple of hours, always check under the hood of your car.

Start by seeing your vehicle is in tip top shape. My partner takes his car to his favorite mechanic for a quick engine tune-up. He has the mechanic check the fan belt, has the car greased, oiled and a new oil filter. The mechanic checks the battery and my partner makes sure the air pressure in each tire is at the proper pressure. He checks the spare tire, if the jack is operational and sees that his Triple A membership is up to date.

Make sure you have a clean windshield, don't travel blind. When on the road use your head lights and leave extra space between you and preceding vehicle. If you have to stop

suddenly avoid skidding by tapping your brakes. Have enough fuel and money to take you to the next stop. Always try to keep the gas tank half full.

Prepare for car trouble. Obtain weather information and carry a survival kit. Your survival kit consists of a flash light, extra antifreeze and windshield washer, flares or reflective devices, a blanket and work gloves. Always have the proper lug wrench to match the wheel's lug nuts, an extra quart of oil, a bottle of brake fluid and a couple of cans of FIX A FLAT. A foot air pump, a Phillips and flathead screw driver- pliers, vise grips, knife, rags,

electrical and gray tape are also must-haves. Another thing to carry as part of your survival kit is a piece of plastic in case you have to lie down next to the car or kneel down to change a flat tire.

Allow extra time for you trip. Leave a little early and take into account your rest and lunch stops.If you haul your boat make sure your transmission cooler is working properly and if stranded stay with the vehicle.

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