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Preparing for a Summer Trip

Q: What should I inspect on my car before going on a summer trip?

A: First things first, check the engine oil and change if necessary. Be sure to use the correct oil viscosity as recommended by the manufacturer. Then check all the other fluid levels including the transmission, power steering, brake, coolant, and windshield washer. Inspect the radiator hoses for leaks, cracks, or bulges. Replace if necessary. Also inspect the belt. Most vehicles today have one serpentine belt that turns the air conditioning compressor, alternator, power steering pump, and water pump. Look for cracks or frays in the belt and replace if necessary. Newer EPDM belts don’t show signs of wear and may still need replacing. Check the tires for wear and inflate to the recommended pressure. Finally, purchase a roadside assistance kit.