Your Road Trip Checklist

by Evelyn J. Mocbeichel

Making your family car ready for your vacation excursions should be a priority to make it more cost efficient. Maintenance is a vital part of auto efficiency and one should make sure the car is in tip-top shape before a lengthy journey.  Have your car checked by your mechanic and tuned so it is ready for driving long distances away from home. The cost of this check up will save you money on fuel consumption when your car is running at its peak. When is the last time you changed the oil, air filter, and any hoses? Make sure you have your cooling system checked to make sure your car does not overheat while driving. Tires that are in excellent condition are highly important for your personal safety and for a comfortable ride. Read the manual that comes with your automobile to know the proper inflation pressure for your vehicle. Check this pressure every few weeks during normal driving and several times during a vacation.  Generally the best time to check your tires are when they are cold. Tires that are under inflated may overheat and cause a blowout or loss of control.  Recent government recommendations suggest replacing your tires more frequently than once was estimated.  Whether or not you put high mileage on your car, experts say that tires eventually “dry out” and should be replaced more frequently than previous standards.  Ask the dealership or a tire salesperson for their recommendation that fits your car.

Fuel costs: One of the best rules for saving on fuel is the easiest and that is to stay within the posted speed limit.  Driving faster simply eats up more fuel and that is a fact.  Enjoy the scenery, take in the sights, and arrive safely, which is the most important part of your trip.  Avoid quick starts and stops while driving. Sudden surges and quick stops continue to gobble up fuel unnecessarily.  Try to lighten your load by packing only what is necessary for the trip, emptying items from the trunk that are not needed. Watch your gauges during your trip, making sure you never get down to a quarter of a tank before refueling.  Then you will have plenty of time to watch for good prices along the road and not higher prices just because you are near “empty”. This is also important, too, when you are driving in unfamiliar areas and not certain when the next service station will appear. One more tip is to remember to have a well stocked first aid kit in your car in case of any emergencies. Wishing all travelers a happy and safe journey that lets you discover wonderful memories down the road!

Car Quiz: 1. Who is credited with revolutionizing the process of auto manufacturing? 2. What singer made the commercial See the USA in your Chevrolet? 3. What car model sold over 20 million vehicles between the years 1938-2003? 4. What was the car model, Plymouth named after? An English university, small town in Michigan, Plymouth Rock, or a road near the factory?


Answers: 1. Entrepreneur Henry Ford created the assembly line in 1913.  2. Dinah Shore 3. VW Beetle 4. Plymouth Rock