Automobile reliability brings us peace of mind. I really don’t enjoy driving a car that’s on the verge of breakdown. That is a monster of stress-inducers.
A well running road trip car is also a matter of road trip safety. I remember a road trip as a little boy, when the back wheel of our station wagon came right off. There was an awesome rooster-tail of sparks shooting up behind us, and there was the wheel, bouncing down the highway. The mechanic said it was a miracle we survived.
I am not a mechanic. But I am savvy enough with automobile maintenance to change the oil (I don’t actually change my own oil). I’ve also replaced my serpentine belt and my radiator…both in two different emergency situations. And I have a general idea of how my ride works.
But, I trust automobile maintenance and repairs to a trusted and savvy mechanic. He’s a professional. He will notice subtle things that I would not. He will do it well and quickly. And I’ll have peace of mind while I’m driving on my road trip.
If you’d like to get some savvy advice right now, then check out the service advice on Car Talk’s website. Those guys are very entertaining. Listen to their show on the radio if you can.
Of course there are times when your perfectly tuned and serviced ride gets ill anyway. Then you’ve got to deal with finding a mechanic during your road trip. This would be a great time to have roadside assistance (and a cell phone to call them with).
And it helps if you’ve got a reliable ride to begin with. If you’re in the market for a new car, or you plan on renting a car for your road trip, first check out MSN’s reliability ratings for an idea of a vehicle’s reliability.
And if you should find yourself temporarily stranded due to mechanical woes, please don’t allow yourself to be discouraged. I have found surprising road trip adventures this way . . . just remain open to the unexpected.