As families get ready for back to school and plan last minute road trips, one of the things that many single parents need to consider if they plan on taking a road trip is to make sure their car is road ready. With movies like Vacation featuring a grown up Rusty Griswold, we get some great reminders about the classic family road trip. For my family personally, we are also taking a road trip across half the country and so making sure the car is road ready is always on top of my mind. RepairPal is a company that is full of car repair experts and they independently certify and pre-screen repair shops so that you can find a fair price. Trying to find a repair facility and getting referrals for a good car repair place can be a hassle but with their network RepairPal makes it easier.
RepairPal has provided a list of tips to help make sure your is repaired at a fair price and road trip ready.
1. DON’T GAMBLE
Because walking into the first shop that you find on Google is like rolling the dice, do your homework by searching for a shop with certified technicians.
2. KNOW THE ‘MAGIC NUMBER’
Research average repair prices before visiting the shop and note any prices much higher or lower than the average (which may signal low quality parts or potential overbilling).
3. DO A ROAD TRIP CHECK-UP
Because unexpected breakdowns are usually much more costly than preventative work, get your vehicle inspected by a shop you trust at least one week before you hit the road.
4. THINK AHEAD
Because a poorly-executed repair could leave you coming back weeks later, always choose a shop that offers an excellent warranty in case anything goes wrong.
5. DON’T TRUST ALL REVIEWS
While review sites like Yelp and Foursquare are great for finding a good burger, fake reviews and unknowledgeable customers make these types of sites unsuitable to select an auto shop.
As a free resource, RepairPal independently certifies auto repair shops nationwide, provides data on the average cost of each repair, and offers trusted customer reviews — eliminating the need to shop around.
Some other tips you may also want to consider on your own to keep the longevity of your vehicle are:
Always read your owner’s manual – Many people don’t but this this will let you know what kind of oil to use and how often you should get an oil change.
Keep all receipts of oil changes and any replacement oil filters in case of any lube related failures later on.
Recheck the dipstick – always check your fluid levels after an oil change. Recheck it every two weeks and top off as necessary. The oil level should be between the marker lines on the dipstick and if it is black or dirty looking it needs to be changed.
Check the transmission fluid levels. Transmission fluid should have a slight pink color.
Inspect your tires and make sure they are inflated to the specified PSI (pounds per square inch) as stated in your manual.
Check the car battery to see if the terminals have any corrosion
How do you get your car road trip ready?