To avoid the inconvenience and potential safety hazards of breaking down miles away from home, a simple driveway inspection before hitting the road will help ensure a hassle-free Labor Day weekend, according to the Car Care Council.
“With these four easy steps, motorists can identify how road-ready their vehicle is right in their own driveway and, if repairs or maintenance are needed, they can be performed before leaving home,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.
Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
Check the hoses and belts that can become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.
Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly and inspect and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.
“No one wants to experience the hassle of car trouble away from home,” White said. “With this simple pre-trip vehicle inspection, you can have peace of mind because you took steps to avoid spending your holiday weekend on the side of the road.”
The Car Care Council also recommends that motorists restock their emergency kit and consider a pre-trip tune-up to help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy. To further save on fuel costs, avoid aggressive driving, observe the speed limit and eliminate excessive idling. Gas caps that are damaged, loose or missing should be replaced to prevent gas from spilling or evaporating.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide, now available electronically, or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.