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How To Prevent Breakdowns On The Road

Get Your Car Road Trip Ready

It’s coming up to that time of the year again – time for your next road trip. You’ve been planning the trip for months, you know exactly where you’re going, where you’re going to stay, to eat, what you’re going to do, but have you thought about your car? This is the time to prepare your car for the trip, because it doesn’t matter how well planned the trip is, if your car breaks down you won’t go far.

Here are a few tips from Tom’s Towing to help prevent breakdowns on your next road trip:

Check your car’s vitals: you might maintain your car all year around, routine services and oil changes, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t check your car before your big trip. In fact, this is a very important step to prevent breakdowns.  If your car is usually not used very much or only for short commutes you might not notice if there are any problems, but they will arise when you take it on a long drive. It’s best to have a professional check the car before the trip, schedule this in advance, don’t leave it to the last minute.

Check filters and fluids – check engine oil, antifreeze/coolant, windshield washer and power steering, brake and transmission fluids.  It’s also important to make sure that air filters are clean because dirty air filters can waste gas causing the engine to lose power. Ask your mechanic to check these for you.

Check hoses and belts – replace them if they are cracked, brittle, worn, or show signs of wear.  Tighten if they are loose. Proper functioning of hoses and belts are crucial to the different systems in your car – don’t forget to ask your mechanic if they have checked them too.

Check your tires – check tire pressure and tread.  Under inflated tires reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy, which you don’t want on a long trip and this is also not good if you are carrying a full car of passengers and luggage. Uneven wear means that you need a wheel alignment.  Also, check your tires for bulges and bald spots a few days before your trip. And don’t forget to check your spare tire.

Car battery – is your car battery old? Has it been playing up? Maybe this is the perfect time to replace your car battery, check it out.

Also, don’t forget to check that you have emergency equipment in your car, like emergency tools, a reflective triangle, cell phone and external chargers. Wash the car prior to the trip, and enjoy yourselves, that’s what it’s all about.

If you’re in the San Mateo and you do run into any car trouble give Tom’s towing a call. We’ll have someone with you in a flash to tow you to the nearest auto repair shop. We also love road trips, so we’ll do our best to help you get back to yours as quickly as possible.