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  1. Default What should I have done before I leave?

    We are leaving in one month from Auburn, MA to Kissimmee, Fl and wanted to know what I should have done on my car? I am getting two new front tires and getting an oil change but is their anything else I should do? I have a Honda Civic 2000 and it is in good shape. I called two different mechanics for the estimate on a tune up but one was $333 and the other was $250, do I need one and is the about the right price?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Define Tune-Up

    A tune-up wouldn't be a bad idea, but its hard to say how much you should pay or how badly one is needed without knowing exactly what they plan to do. "Tune-Up" has kind of become a catch-all phrase for a lot of different, but fairly routine, repairs. If you do decide to get one, make sure you find out exactly what is going to be done.

    Personally, I'd take a look at your car's manual, and find out what work is scheduled to be done at or around your current milage mark. There's generally a pretty extensive list of things that should be done at the 30/60/90 thousand mile marks. If you are approaching one of those points, or have recently passed them without doing those repairs, I'd recommend taking care of them before heading out.

    Otherwise a good basic pre-trip inspection, taking a look at your belts, brakes, fluids, etc, is a good way to find out if you've got any other issues that could cause problems on your trip. If you aren't comfortable doing this yourself, you can usually have it done for $20-40, or some places include a inspection with an oil change. However, if you are getting the inspection done with your oil change, I'd make sure it is being done at a reputable shop, and not by some teenage greese monkey at the Quirky-Loob.

    Happy Trails!
    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-08-2006 at 10:16 AM. Reason: Name changed to protect the innocent

  3. #3
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default What's in a shop?

    I agree with Michael. The safety/maintenence inspection is the big one though, that will tell you how much you have left on your brakes and they'll look to see if anything else looks like its going to be needing replacement soon. Be sure to tell them your plan, that way, if its something that looks like it will be needing replacement in a month under normal driving conditions, they might suggest to you to get it done now.

    With that said, there are somethings to look for in choosing a shop. ASE Certified mechanics do offer that extra reassurance that those people took the time to become certified, but, with that said, my father was an ASE certified mechanic and never really took much stock in people displaying that emblem. He knew too many Certified mechanics that brought shame to the title.

    A good way to get around this is by checking a few resources. One would be choosing a shop that is registered with the BBB (Better Business Bureau), and has received high marks from its customers. Another suggestion would be to use an shop that bears the AAA Approved Auto Repair emblem. These shops have been inspected by representatives of AAA. I have used several, and they have always done a good job. But, both the BBB and AAA will at least give you some idea to the reputability of the shop in question.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default Ask Friends for Advice

    I suggest asking around for a good and trustworthy mechanic. Take your car to him, tell him what you are planning and let him look at the car. I always take mine to the same guy. He asks where I'm going, what kind of terrain I will cover and then calls me the next day to let me know what needs to be done. He's even told me that all is well and that I don't need any work.

    Other than that you've already gotten very good advice.


  5. #5


    Hey! Another Masshole!

    Well, as Michael pointed out, check your regular maintenance intervals for things such as oil, tires, brakes (including a brake fluid change every two years), drive belts, timing belt/chain, transmission/transaxle/differential fluid, etc. If you are going to Florida, chances are you'll see high temperatures, so make sure your car's cooling system (antifreeze) has been flushed and filled recently (within two years) to prevent overheating.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-11-2006 at 12:33 PM. Reason: "Masshole" pushing the line a bit-- but... OK for now

  6. Default Thank you guys!!!

    I will try and find the manual and see what it recommends!

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