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Things To Have Checked Before A Long Road Trip

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Spring and summer are coming and that means that people will begin to take road trips. Before you take that trip, make sure that your car is in shape. This is especially true for older vehicles and vehicles that aren't driven very often. It is a good idea to have your car checked out by a mechanic before you head out on the road. Here are some of the things you will want your mechanic to check.

Safety features:

Have your car's brakes, lights, tires, steering, and suspension checked even if the car is still relatively new and everything seems fine. You wouldn't want any of these to fail while you are far from any towns or services. If any of these components fail, your car will not be safe to drive. Another safety item many people overlook is the seat belts. Though these usually don't have any problems, it's always best to make sure each belt latches properly and is not worn.

Your car's engine:

Generally, not much is likely to go wrong with your engine provided you do not abuse it by overheating or letting it run out of oil. The mechanic should check for things like leaks and other forms of oil consumption such as oil combustion. Though a small leak may not be much of a problem, any leak that is large enough to be noticeable may be a problem on a long trip.You wouldn't want your car to run out of oil and you don't want leaks to hit the exhaust or hot engine and cause a fire.

The cooling system:

The cooling system is especially important when the weather is hot, so it's important not to leave on your trip without checking for and replacing any worn hoses or clamps and fix coolant leaks. If you've noticed that your car has been running hotter than usual, then don't leave on your trip without having the problem repaired. A car that consistently runs hot may indicate things such as a bad thermostat, water pump or even a bad head gasket—all of which would make your car inoperable if they completely fail on the road.

Other cursory items that should also be checked include the air conditioning and heater, just to make sure they're working properly. Check all interior items including door latches and upholstery just to make sure that everything is working and you and your guests will be comfortable. Tell the mechanic that you are planning a long trip and ask them what they recommend after they check all of the components mentioned. For more information, check with the auto repair shops in your area.