Pre-Trip Vehicle Checks Make for Safer, Gas-Saving Summer Road Trips
Bethesda, MD – May 23, 2011 – With millions of people planning to hit the road this summer, two things will be on their minds – getting to their destination safely and the high price of gas. The Car Care Council recommends a pre-trip vehicle inspection to make sure your vehicle is safe for travel and running efficiently.
“To avoid the inconvenience and potential safety hazards of breaking down miles away from home, a pre-trip vehicle check can determine how road-ready your vehicle is so you can take steps to have the problems fixed before heading out for vacation,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Plus, with the average price of gas around $4 a gallon, making sure your vehicle is running efficiently will get you more miles to the gallon.”
The pre-trip vehicle check recommended by the Car Care Council includes:
• Schedule a tune-up to help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy and produce the lowest level of emissions.
• Check the brake system and make sure the battery connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.
• Check filters and fluids, including engine oil, power steering and brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant. Dirty air filters can waste gas and cause the engine to lose power.
• 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. Underinflated tires reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy and uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
• Check that the gas cap is not damaged, loose or missing to prevent gas from spilling or evaporating.
“A thorough inspection will give you piece of mind as you travel and help make your journey safer,” continued White. “By also avoiding aggressive driving, observing the speed limit and avoiding excessive idling, you will spend less on fuel and have more money for vacation fun.”