Ensure a Pleasant Summer Road Trip by Showing your Vehicle a little TLC

With so many wonderful and interesting U.S. cities, an increasing number of Americans are forgoing international travel in favor of road trips to the beach, mountains, and other domestic hotspots.If you count yourself among them, make sure your vehicle is in good condition before hitting the wide, open road. The following list of summer maintenance check points will help ensure a safe ride to your vacation destination.1.

There's a lot riding on your tires?make sure they can handle it. If your tires are still in good shape, prevent unnecessary wear by rotating them whenever you change the oil. (RK Toyota technicians recommend a rotation every 6,000 miles.) If the tread on your tires is fairly worn, consider replacing them before departing. If you see the "wear bars" (rubber strips that usually are darker than the tire), replace your tires immediately.

RK Toyota technicians also maintain that proper tire inflation is vital.Follow the manufacturer's recommendation for the proper pressure.2. Like tires, brakes are crucial to your family's safety. RK Subaru technicians advocate having brakes checked whenever tires are rotated.

If your brakes make unusual squealing or grinding noises when you hit them, or if the steering wheel pulls to one side, you might need new brakes. If your car has an anti-lock braking system (ABS), as most recent models do, pay attention to your dashboard indicators. If, after about 2 seconds, the ABS light goes out, the system is in good working order. If the light stays on, have a mechanic check your brakes.

3. Pay attention to belts and hoses to decrease the risk of a breakdown. Fan belts, which used to last about a year, are now much more durable, so people tend to neglect them.

However, RK Subaru technicians report that belts and hoses are the second-biggest cause of auto breakdowns after failed batteries. Have the belts and hoses checked during an oil change or other service visit.For more tips on preparing your car for a summer road trip, continue to RK Auto Group Summer Maintenance check points 4-6.

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2006 RK Auto Group.Tom Kline is Controller of RKAutoGroup.net (RK Buick, RK Chevrolet, RK Subaru, RK Scion and RK Toyota).During his 15-year tenure Kline has worked in the Sales Department of RK Auto Group, Parts, Service and Body Shop, Leasing, Collections, and Management Information Services.RK Auto Group, located in Southeast Virginia, has been recognized as one of the top 100 Chevrolet dealerships in the nation.Founded in 1964, this award-winning dealership sells approximately 9,000 vehicles per year.

RK Chevrolet is the recipient of Chevrolet Motor Division's coveted Service Supremacy Award four years in a row. This is an award which less than 8% of the nation's Chevrolet dealers have won. In 1998, RK received the prestigious "Genuine Leaders Award" for excellence in sales, service, and customer satisfaction.

By: Tom Kline



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