The Car Coach: Saving money on car trips
It's that time of year again! Spring break takes us to the roads, but is your vehicle ready for the trip? Lauren Fix, the Car Coach, has some tips to keep the cost down.
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This summer, with concerns about fuel prices in mind, many travelers will be hitting the road in the family car. How can we save some money and still keep the cost down?
Save Money With The Right Tire Pressures:
One of the best ways to get the best fuel economy is by making sure you have the proper tire pressure.
Proper tire pressure = better gas mileage = save 2-3 mpg.
Check all five-tire pressures - yes, that means the spare too. The proper pressure for your vehicle is found in the gas door or the placard inside the doorjamb. Check the tires when they’re cold because tire pressures increases while driving. Never use the number on your tire. Check your tire pressure once a month!
Check the wear of your tires and inspect the tread. Inspect your tires to determine when your tires need to be replaced. A way to check this is by inserting a quarter into the tire groove with Washington’s head down. If the top of the head is showing above the tread, you need new tires.
What about the fluids?
When the engine is cool, check some of the fluids – engine oil, radiator coolant and windshield washer fluid and refill or replace them as needed. (A certified technician can do this if you don’t want to do it yourself.)
Be sure to inspect hoses and belts for signs of wear such as cracks or blistering. You’ll also want to check your wiper blades, replace them every six months.
Make sure the air conditioner is working, if not, a certified technician should repair it. Or use a repair system.
Safety For Your Children
The most precious cargo you carry is your children, please make sure that they are properly belted. This goes for the adults too - set a good example!
Satellite radio is a great new way to entertain the troops, books on tape and hand held games are great choices too. Make sure to get the kids some cool headsets to keep the noise down for the driver.
Don’t forget bottled water, healthy snacks, like pretzels and apples (avoid those fast food places).
What To Carry In The Car
An emergency kit includes a cell phone, first aid kit, tire inflation product, battery cables or a self enclosed battery jumper, flares, flashlight with fresh batteries, washer fluid, and bottled water.
Finally, last but not least, get a road map from the Internet, and get plenty of sleep before you leave. Most importantly “ENJOY YOUR VACATION” starting from the moment you get into your vehicle!