Auto News: Getting your car ready for vacation

Staff Report

Many people are planning their family vacation. For most, that means a long car ride. Before you hit the road, there are some things you need to do. First, make sure someone knows the route you are taking and when you will arrive, and have your cell phone and charger with you.

Since you will be carrying the most precious cargo — your family — you need to make sure your car is up for the trip. Start by checking your tires. They should be inflated properly and have plenty of tread. Then, check to make sure your lights are working properly and your brakes are good.

Then, open the hood and examine all the hoses and belts. Replace any that have cracks or are worn. Next, check all the fluids in your car. Any fluids that are dirty should be flushed and replaced.

If the color of the oil is brown or milky, it means coolant is getting into one or more cylinders in the engine. This is a serious problem and needs to be fixed immediately. If you do not fix it, you run the risk of blowing the engine.

If you are uncomfortable about taking the car on a long trip, this is the time to replace it. A car dealer will not want your current car since it has a major problem. One excellent alternative is to donate your car to charity. Cars4Charities does not care about its condition and will pick it up for free. You will get a very nice tax deduction for your car donation. Simply call them at 1-866-448-3487 or go to

From the July 11-17, 2012, issue

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