This article explains why motorists would give their vehicle a complete physical before a vacation trip. It includes the items to check. Comprehensive Pre-Trip Checkup Can Pay Off Tow truck operators in resort areas or along Interstate highways see all too many travelers forced to return home ahead of schedule. Car trouble, usually due to neglected preventive maintenance, brings an abrupt end to vacation plans. The situation usually means more than just a repair bill. It can involve towing charges, lodging and possibly a rental car. Add to that the cost of extra phone calls, meals and general inconvenience, and the ordeal becomes expensive. This scenario usually can be avoided with a pre-vacation inspection performed by a qualified automotive technician. This “physical” for your automobile should address the following systems: * Cooling * Braking * Emission control * Steering/suspension * Fuel * Electrical and ignition In addition, the tech should evaluate engine performance, tires/wheels, A.C./heater/defroster, instruments/gauges, windshield wipers, horns/lights/mirrors, seat belts and the car’s body, inside and out. Not only can a pre-trip inspection help reduce chances of costly and possibly dangerous road trouble, it also provides an opportunity to have repairs made at home, with one’s own technician who knows the vehicle. Especially important, it provides peace of mind. While no inspection can guarantee a car’s performance, it’s comforting to know proper precautions were taken.