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Some people treat their cars like a newborn child. However, if you’re like most people, keeping your car tuned up entails little more than keeping the gas tank filled. But if you’re planning on traveling any distance in your car you should first have a mechanic check out the following things.

Cooling System: In order to keep your car from overheating, there are many components in your car’s cooling system that should be checked out. Check to see that all of your car’s belts and hoses are smooth. Even small cracks could eventually contribute to a break down. Keep all fluid levels filled. Antifreeze is simple to add, and it is important in keeping your cooling system clean and effective. Finally, have a mechanic check your cooling fan, radiator, thermostat and heater core. If there is a problem with any of these components your car runs an incredible risk of overheating.

Tires: Traveling long distances can cause small tire problems to become large concerns. Keep all tire pressures at the correct “PSI.” You can usually find this information recorded on the tires themselves. Next, you should make sure your tires have adequate tread for traveling. An easy way to do this is by placing a penny in the groove of your tires. If your tread doesn’t reach Abe Lincoln’s head, then it’s time to replace your tires.

Front End Check: A mechanic can do this to determine any problems with your steering.

Oil and Transmission Check: Always remember to have your oil changed every 5,000 miles. This is a standard procedure that all cars require for proper maintenance. Your transmission fluid may need to be changed as well. Have a mechanic keep these things in good working order and you’ll help avoid problems down the road.