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A little preparation can save you time and money on the road. As the sunny summer weather heats up, many people are finalizing their plans for an annual vacation. While deciding on a destination and a place to stay comes first, vehicle technicians argue that if you plan to drive, getting your vehicle ready for vacation is the most important aspect of your trip preparation.

Following your vehicle maintenance schedule can prevent your vacation from becoming a mechanical nightmare, particularly if a breakdown could have been prevented. Take your car to a certified automotive technician for a full safety inspection as least one week before you plan to leave for vacation. If a problem is discovered, this allows enough time to he it fixed.

These are items that should be checked. All Fluid levels, including engine oil, transmission fluid, radiation fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and windshield washers. Tire pressure and tire tread depth and condition need to be checked. Don't forget the spare tire. Brakes, Belts and Hoses, Windshield Wipers, Lights and Air Conditioning operation should also be checked.

Even if the automotive technicians says everything checks out fine, there is always the possibility of car trouble when on the road. No matter how long your trip will be, you should have and Emergency Road Kit in your car for those unwelcome moments. Your kit should include a Flashlight, Jumper Cables, Tire Inflator, Extra fluids such as oil, coolant, transmission, A First Aid Kit. A Jack, Gloves, Rags or Paper Towels, Water, Blanket, and Multipurpose tools such as pliers, wire cutters, a knife, a saw, a bottle opener, screwdriver, file, and an awl.

Pack as lightly as you can to avoid adding unnecessary load on your tires. This can help save some gas too. By packing lightly, you'll also avoid blocking the view in your mirrors while driving.

Following posted speed limits will increase your car's fuel efficiency because gas mileage declines by a few percent for each 5 m.p.h. increase in speed above 45 mph. Finally, buckle up, slow down, and have fun.

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