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Prep Your Car Before You Hit the Road this Fall

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Fall is the perfect time to plan a day trip or weekend away with your significant other or your family. Many schools have fall breaks, and it's a great time to settle on a quick trip to enjoy the beauty of the fall season. Summer is a relatively gentle season on cars, but once fall rolls around, you may be in need of a tune up before you decide to do any more traveling. Here are some tips to help you plan the perfect fall road trip.

Let your mechanic take a look. 
If there are any noticeable signs of wear or tear on your vehicle, you'll want to take it to your trusted mechanic or to a dealership. Pay extra attention to the sounds your car makes while running. If anything sounds off, you'll want to get it checked out before you hit the road. Make sure the engine sounds like it's running consistently- if it's not, you may need to have spark plugs replaced or belts checked. Listen for knocking in the car's suspension and steering. Popping sounds while turning can mean there's a possible CV Axle issue. Listen carefully to your brakes when you apply them. If you hear any grinding or squealing, you'll want to have the brakes checked.

Check the alignment and check your tires.
If you took your car on a road trip this summer, you will probably have some wear on your tires. Use the penny trick to test the tread on your tires. Insert a penny into the groove of your tire tread. If you can see the top of Abe's head, you're going to want to replace your tires ASAP. Good tire tread ensures propper gripping, and especially comes in handy when the pavement is wet. Proper alignment is also very important. Potholes can knock your car out of line, as can general wear. Propper alignment is important for a smooth, safe drive. You'll be able to notice if your car is out of line by paying attention to the steering wheel. If you notice the car pulling to the left or right, instead of going straight, your car is likely out of line.

Inspect your car yourself.
You can give your car a quarterly inspection by checking the following:
Check your fluids (includes oil, transmission fluid, wiper fluid, coolant, etc.)
Top off any fluids that are low.
Check your windshield wiper blades and check the wiper fluid.
Check to make sure that all of the car's lights (inside and out) and working properly.
Check your battery.

Make sure you are prepared in the event of an emergency.
No one wants to be left stranded by the roadside, but in the event that this happens, be prepared. Make sure you have important items such as the registration, a pad and paper, phone charger, flashlight, jumper cables, spare tire, non perishable snacks, and bottled water. If you are a AAA member, be sure to have your card or membership info with you. 

Plan the route before you go.
Even if you're not going on an overnight trip, plan your trip out before you go. You may find yourself in an area of low cell signal, so map out your route and write down directions, in case you are not able to use a GPS.

Planning ahead is the best way to prepare for a fun day or weekend away. 
Where will you explore in your car this fall?

Brought to you by Bob Pulte Chevrolet

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