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Even though gas prices are higher than ever these days, many people still enjoy taking summertime road trips. Weekend trips and week-long vacation trips are both popular choices. After all, it can be a great deal of fun to head out on a weekend excursion with your family, or to jump in the car with a few friends and just drive to wherever the open road takes you.

However, it is important to get your vehicle checked out before you head out on any road trip. This is wise because it can prevent you from being stranded out in the middle of nowhere because of sudden, unexpected mechanical trouble. That can happen to anyone, too, even people who are driving vehicles that have always been absolutely reliable.

So, to give yourself peace of mind that your vehicle will be safe and will perform well for your entire summer road trip, have the following items checked out by a professional.

Tires

The tire pressure needs to be set to manufacturer specifications-no filling the tires with air at the nearest gas station, guessing when they look like they have enough air. Tires without enough air can blowout when heat is built up, which could definitely happen if the vehicle is driven for a long distance or for a long period of time. Tire pressure is especially important if you will be hauling anything-a boat, for example-during your long drive.

Battery

It seems obvious, but many people neglect to check their battery before taking a road trip. Batteries tend to lose their charge more quickly in hot weather than they do in cold weather, contrary to what most people tend to think. If your battery is over three years old, have it checked professionally to make sure it is still in good condition-or, consider replacing it to be on the safe side.

Fluids, Belts, and Hoses

According to the AAA, people call for roadside assistance due to problems with belts and hoses quite often. Though people have troubles with batteries more often, belts and hoses are the second biggest problem causing people to need roadside assistance.
Belts and hoses need to be checked for cracks, leaks, and splits. Faulty ones need to be replaced. Fluids should all be topped off before any summer road trip.

Brakes

You use your brakes every day when you drive your vehicle; however, how often do you give them any thought? Not very often, if you are like most people. So, before a road trip is definitely a good time to have them professionally checked.

Wiper Blades

Check to make sure that your wiper blades-front and back, if applicable-work properly. Replace any that are worn or do not clean the windows well.

Lights

Have all lights tested, period. Faulty bulbs need to be replaced before your trip.

Seatbelts

Make sure your seatbelts function properly. You want your summer road trip to be fun and safe, so the seatbelts need to work correctly.

Don't neglect getting your vehicle serviced before your summer road trip-your vehicle will run much better and you will have peace of mind.

Author : Mike McCoy
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