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Back to school road trip

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Updated: 8/16/2013 3:42 pm

(BPT) - Whether you're a parent driving your college-age student to school or you're heading out on your first solo road trip back to campus, you can make sure your trip is stress-free and prevent unnecessary break downs on the road.

Check your tires

While you can't avoid all debris on the road that could cause a flat tire, you can make sure your tires are in the best shape possible before you set out on your trip. Inflate your tires to the air pressure recommended by the manufacturer. This can be found on the inside of the driver's door. Do not inflate them based on the numbers on the sidewall of your tire. Tires are manufactured for a variety of vehicles, but the manufacturer determines the correct air pressure based on other aspects of the car. Inspect the tread on your tires. Any signs of wear like little - or no tread - or visible threads signal that tires need to be replaced.

Update your GPS

Summertime is notorious for road construction and driving around to take an alternate route or sitting in traffic can waste time and gas. That's why it's important that you update your GPS before you hit the road. In addition to avoiding construction, keeping your GPS up to date provides other benefits:

* Stay safe by avoiding unnecessary stops in unfamiliar neighborhoods, particularly at night.

* Save time and money by using your GPS to locate restaurants, hotels and gas stations so you're not driving around aimlessly.

Freshen your fluids

For most college students, maintaining a vehicle is not usually at the top of the list of priorities. Taking care of basics like changing your motor oil, oil filter, air filter and checking the level of other fluids like radiator coolant can save you from costly repairs. Consider using premium synthetic motor oil like Royal Purple. This simple switch can save you money because you can go more miles between oil changes. Depending on driving habits, this can be between 10,000 and 12,000 miles.

Taking the time to make sure your car is maintained can mean an enjoyable trip back to school and a great start to the new school year.

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