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Summer is here! Check your car before you get behind the wheel

The summer is here, and so it is time to get your car ready for vacations, extracurricular activities and added miles. Before you head out on the road, it's important to vacation-proof your vehicle. By performing maintenance, you can help prevent accidents caused by defects or mechanical malfunctions.

Breakdowns are one of the most common events you see in the summer. Vehicles that overheat may blow a gasket or ruin their radiators, leading to thousands in expenses. Additionally, if that driver can't get to the side of the road safely, he or she could block the roadway and be at risk of becoming involved in an accident.

How can you prevent a breakdown on the highway or back roads?

Start by having an inspection of your vehicle before any trips you want to take. Checking tire pressure, oil and fluid levels along with your power-steering, air conditioning and other parts can help you catch problems before you head out on the road. If your tires are low, pump them up to the recommended levels. If your fluids are low, top them up. Check the transmission fluids and let the mechanic know if you've heard any unusual sounds or felt unusual shakes lately.

It's wise to check your heating and air conditioning, too. The summer is hot in most states, so air conditioning is necessary. Without it, you could become overheated yourself and pass out from dehydration or heat exhaustion. For that reason, it's a good idea to keep some water in your vehicle and to have your air conditioning serviced.

If you or someone you love is injured because another driver hasn't taken care of his or her vehicle, that opens the driver up to liability for the crash. You can prevent being liable for a crash by taking these precautions and driving safely.

Source: 9 News, "How to vacation-proof your car this summer," Supriya Venigalla, June 28, 2017

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