10 Minute Pre-Trip Checkup Can Pay Off

As you get ready to travel for the holiday weekend, it is important to remember that what's under your car's hood is the heartbeat of a good trip.

"It's like the brain and the heart of your car, you've got to keep it up. You keep your own body up, and you can't expect your car to do any better if you don't take care of it."

Mechanics like Bobby Goodson who owns Joe's Tire and Auto in Jonesboro says a simple check-up now could save you big if a problem is caught early.

"A couple of hundred dollars to a tune up versus letting your car run bad for a long period of time, ruining valves, cams, or tops of pistons. You are looking at thousands of dollars," said Goodson.

Not to mention, breaking down in the unknown has its own troubles.

"You don't want to be broke down a long way from home because you don't know what to expect when you call somebody you don't know. When you call a shop you have no idea what they are going to charge you or what they are going to get you with, and it does happen," said Goodson.

So the best thing you can do is simply take a few minutes now, to save yourself from hitting major roadblocks.

"It's very important unless you want to be broken down on the road. I just got back from vacation myself and I saw a lot of cars broke down on the interstate," said Goodson.

Car Care Council offers three suggestions for a traveler's 10-minute pre-trip checklist:

  • Check all fluids. There are several fluids, in addition to antifreeze, that require attention, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission fluids and windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
  • Check hoses and belts. A belt that fails can affect the electrical system, air conditioning and power steering, as well as the cooling system. Cooling system hoses may be deteriorating from within, so old hoses and clamps in marginal condition might need to be replaced.
  • Check the tires. Check tire inflation and inspect the tread for uneven wear, indicating the need for wheel alignment. Also look for bulges and bald spots.

*Story ideas or comments?  Email Will at wcarter@kait8.com.