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Summer is finally here, and families across the country are preparing to hit the road and spend some needed and well-deserved time away. One way to prepare for your upcoming vacation is to make sure your car is ready, too. A pre-trip auto checkup could make all the difference.

Take good care of your car before you leave, and it will take good care of you out on the road. The easiest way to safeguard your road trip is to let a mechanic perform a full safety inspection on your car a week or so before your trip.

If there's a problem, it could take some time to fix. A big, last-minute auto repair could really throw a wrench into your vacation plans or force you to delay your trip. Or you may even have to rent a car at the last minute, and that can get expensive!

In this article you will find ways to make sure your vehicle is as vacation ready as you are.

Check the fluids.

Ensuring your car has enough fluids is like making sure the body has enough water in it — they’re vital to making sure everything runs and operates efficiently. The oils to check include oil, steering fluid, transmission fluid, windshield washer fluid and brake fluid. If you have not changed your oil in the last 3,000 miles (or are close to that milestone prior to leaving for your trip), now would be a good time to have it changed.

Check the brakes.

Before embarking on your road trip, check your brakes to ensure that you have at least 50 percent. If they are lower than that, and you are driving more than 1,000 miles round trip, or plan on driving on rough terrain, your brakes would not be classified as safe and would need replaced.

Do a tune up.

If it’s been awhile since your last maintenance update (more than a year), contact a mechanic or do the suggested maintenance of your car. When you’re traveling a long distance, you want your car to be in the best shape possible — this way you can be confident that you can arrive to your final destination safely.

Check the lights.

Not only are these a legal requirement (and who wants to be pulled over on vacation?) but they are imperative to safe driving. Be sure to check your brake lights, turn signals, headlights and taillights prior to hitting the road.

According to Kyle Law Firm, located in Texas, “when a driver doesn’t see another on the road due to lack of lights or just plain recklessness, the impact could severely injure you as a result.” Don’t let something as simple as a burnt out light bulb effect you or your family’s safety.

The Budd Baer service center staff has more 185 years of combined experience, and 90 percent of their technicians are ASE, GM, Subaru, or Mazda Master Certified Technicians, so you can count on them for the know-how to properly service your vehicle. Budd Baer has state-of-the-art equipment, including computerized diagnostic systems, a road force tire and wheel balancer, a laser-guided alignment system, and an on-car computer-controlled brake lathe to handle any kind of maintenance or repair your vehicle requires. They even offer a state-of-the-art collision center to fix any dents or dings your vehicle might have.

If you plan on traveling this summer and don’t know where to start with your car’s necessary maintenance, let the team at Budd Baer help make sure you and your family arrive to your destination safely! The award-winning service team at Budd Baer is available to answer any questions, offer suggestions and perform service on your vehicle Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon.

For more information, as well as service discounts, visit, stop by 71 Murtland Ave. Washington, Pennsylvania or call 1-855-857-2862.

Sponsored content brought to you by Budd Baer.