Seven Tips to Avoid Auto Breakdowns

Nothing can spoil a vacation—or even a quick errand—like having your car break down. Here are seven of the most common reasons for being stranded by the side of the road and preventive measures you can take.

* Battery trouble. Have your battery checked during any safety inspection or other visit to a dealer or mechanic’s shop, especially if your battery is three years old or older.

* Lockouts. Get additional sets of keys for your home and office. If you’re going on a road trip, give a set of keys to another member of your party.

* Engine trouble. Inspect belts and hoses by looking for cracks and peeling on the belts and softening on the hoses. Check the levels of transmission and other fluids with a dipstick.

* Transmission problems. If you feel slipping or a jerk when you put the automatic transmission into gear, get the transmission checked. Be sure your dealer or mechanic checks all fluids, including transmission fluid.

* Brake trouble. Get your brake pads and rotors checked at least twice a year. The brake fluid needs to be changed every two to three years.

* Flat tires. Insert a quarter into several grooves across each tire. If part of Washington’s head is always covered, you still have 4/32-inch of tread left and probably can drive safely. If you have less tread, think about replacing the tires.

* Running out of gas. Don’t take chances on reaching that next gas station beyond this one. If the warning light comes on, stop for gas as soon as you can.

If you need help funding car repairs, come to Hopewell Federal Credit Union. We have affordable loan options to get your vehicle fixed up again.


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