Taking A Road Trip? Make Sure Your Car Is Up To The Task First

If you're getting ready to hit the road this summer for a vacation, the last thing you need is to find yourself sitting in an auto garage with a broken-down vehicle. While preventative maintenance can't fully eliminate the risk of a problem with your vehicle, it can catch things early on and certainly reduce the chance of a problem. As your travel date approaches, make a point of visiting your local mechanic to make sure that your vehicle is ready for the drive ahead. In addition to having your oil changed and your tires rotated, here are some other things to have your mechanic check for you.

Serpentine Belt

A serpentine belt that fails while you're driving will leave you needing to get towed to the nearest garage, temporarily putting your travel plans on hold. There's less risk of suffering this issue if your mechanic inspects and replaces, if necessary, the belt. This process is quick -- a visual inspection can reveal small cracks that suggest the belt is in danger of breaking -- and belts are inexpensive, so you won't be looking at a major repair bill.


If you've been using the same automotive battery for several years, it might be coming toward the end of its life -- and maybe you've even seen signs of the pending issue, such as trouble starting your car in the morning. It's better to have your old battery swapped out for a new one that will stand up to the rigors of your road trip. The last thing you need is a battery that leaves you stranded somewhere away from home.

Cabin Air Filter

Given that you and your family will be spending a considerable amount of time sitting in the vehicle, you want the air that you breathe to be as clean as possible. Having your mechanic replace the cabin air filter is ideal because it will boost the air quality inside the car. This filter should ideally be replaced every 25,000 to 30,000 miles, generally, so if you haven't had the job done recently, now is the time.


Driving a significant distance on old, worn-out brakes can be dangerous and stressful -- and could lead to an accident that ruins your trip. It's beneficial to have your mechanic check your brake condition and then replace either your pads or your pads and your rotors to ensure that you'll have a quick braking response during your upcoming trip.

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