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AAA Drive Trips    Images of North America

What Vehicle Should I Use?

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Consider your vehicle's condition, number of travelers, luggage capacity and, most important, comfort and safety. If you plan to use your personal vehicle, be sure to have it checked for roadworthiness. AAA Approved Auto Repair facilites offer member discounts on inspections and service. Check with your club for AAA books on car maintenance and travel safety.

Another option is renting a vehicle. It can provide the capacity you need and eliminate wear and tear on your own vehicle or excess miles on a leased vehicle. Your AAA Travel representative can help arrange a suitable vehicle with preferred pricing and exclusive member benefits, or you can reserve your rental car online.

Regardless of the vehicle you use, never overload it or obscure vision points. Make safety a rule inside the car -- everyone in seat belts or child passenger safety seats appropriate for the child's size and weight. Your AAA Travel professional can provide you guidelines for safety seat sizes and proper installation or view them online.

 
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Car Care 
A few simple maintenance checks can go a long way toward ensuring your fun won't be cut short by a disabled vehicle.

  • With the engine off, check the belts for proper tension and cracks or glazing, especially along the underside.
  • Check hoses for leaks and swollen areas.
  • The cooling system should be clean, with an equal-parts mixture of coolant and water.
  • Check your battery's fluid level and look for dirty or corroded terminals.
  • While your tires are cold, check the air pressure and visually inspect the tread and sidewalls for wear and road debris. Check your spare tire as well.
  • Even the best maintained vehicle can experience a breakdown, so prepare an emergency kit including first-aid supplies, flashlight, jumper cables, water and warning devices such as reflective triangles.
The AAA Auto Guide Making Sense of Car Care offers additional tips to help you prepare your vehicle for a trip. Check with your local club to purchase this guide. Also, check out the many helpful sources online for Automotive Care.

If you are not comfortable performing inspections yourself, take your vehicle to a qualified repair facility. Check with your local AAA office or go online for a list of AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities near you that offer member discounts on inspections and service.

Also, remember to keep your AAA membership card with you at all times in case of a breakdown or other roadside emergency while traveling.