Apalachin Community Press, July 2000

Car Keys from your friends at Premium Auto

It's official. Summer has arrived! And now that school is out, many people will take the opportunity to go on a family vacation. Preparation checklists will include everything from packing the bags, to arranging a dog sitter. A complete checkup on the family car should be mandatory before heading out on a long drive.

A few precautionary measures and some preventive maintenance may save a lot of frustration and expense down the road. Although this is simple common sense, it is often taken for granted that everything is still in good working order. And in most cases it is, if the vehicle has been maintained properly. Are you willing to take that chance?

Summer heat can take its toll when you least expect it. The cooling system should be a priority along with the drive belts. Transmission service before a long trip is recommended, especially if you are pulling a boat or camper.

Of course the tires should also be inspected and tire pressures checked. The spare tire is often overlooked. Make sure it is properly inflated and the jack and tire iron is in working order.

A set of roadside flares is also a good item to keep in the trunk along with a container of coolant and a few small tools and some duct tape for emergency roadside repairs if needed.

So add that vehicle maintenance checklist to your "to do" list before heading to the beach or campground.

A few extra steps and dollars spent now can ensure a safer and more memorable family vacation.