Auto Care Steps for a Stress Free Road Trip


Summer road trip season is here. Taking proactive steps to make sure your vehicle is operating properly will help avoid the hassle and unexpected cost of a breakdown away from home, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

This summer, AAA expects to receive calls from over seven million stranded motorists experiencing car trouble. The majority of issues the travel group anticipates will cause car problems, such as dead batteries and flat tires, can be prevented with a pre-trip vehicle inspection.

"Summer heat can take a toll on a vehicle, especially if it hasn't been properly maintained," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. "Whether you do it yourself or visit a trusted professional technician, a pre-trip vehicle check will give you peace of mind and provide the opportunity to make any necessary repairs before you hit the highway."

AAA also reports that four out of 10 drivers are unprepared for vehicle breakdowns. So you and your vehicle are ready for the road, the Car Care Council recommends taking the following auto care steps before you leave home.

  • Check the battery and replace if necessary. Be sure the electrical system is charging at the correct rate; overcharging can damage a battery as quickly as undercharging. Excessive heat and overcharging shortens the life of a battery.
  • Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
  • Check the HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) system as proper cooling performance is critical for interior comfort.
  • Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
  • Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.
  • Check the emergency kit and restock, if necessary. Be sure to fully charge cell phones before leaving home.

The Car Care Council also recommends inspecting the brake system and performing a tune-up to help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy.

Source: Car Care Council


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I called Keith's Automotive after my brakes started scraping a month after having them done somewhere else. After being told my caliper was bad and a $700+ quote I called Keith's and Adam was very helpful. After they looked at it Adam let me know it seized because my break line was swollen. He was able to transfer my brake warranty for the pads and rotors and along with a caliper and hose it was still well under $400. I'm thankful for their honesty, thorougness, and professionalism. If I let the other place change my caliper I would've been back in a couple days because they didn't tell me about the brake line being swollen and who knows how much money.

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My vehicle broke down on a long road trip in some random place along I-70. I looked for a mechanic with good review to tow my vehicle to it, and I was lucky enough to find Keith's Automotive Center. They went the extra mile and lent a helping hand when I was literally stranded in their small town. They got my car into a service bay on a same-day basis and got back to me with preliminary diagnosis before close of business. They continued to troubleshoot the next morning and gave me solutions with quotes that were accurate. They worked over the next week to keep me informed as to progress, and in every way they went above and beyond to make sure that I was taken care of, even helping me get squared away while I was in town and trying to figure out how to get home while I awaited repairs. They delivered their work faster than they had quoted and faster than I'd have expected. Then because I had to come back from out of town, Adam met me outside of normal hours to return the vehicle to me. These guys are trustworthy and pros.

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We broke down on our way home from Missouri. We live in Indiana, and the first shop that popped up was Keith's. They are vary professional, and they worked half the night to get our car fixed for us. Thank you guys so much for helping us! We made it back home and our car did great! I would 100% recommend this shop to anyone! Thank you guys so much again!

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