Road Trip Car Care Tips

I distinctly recall a road trip my friends and I took to West Virginia back in our early 20s. We borrowed a creaky old Suburban that had over 150,000 miles on it, packed a half dozen of us in, and hit the road…only to realize 10 minutes in that the truck needed service.

I am no longer in my 20s and have managed to become a bit more proactive in managing my vehicle’s needs throughout the years. I still take road trips, but instead of The Joshua Tree on repeat and coasting into a campground on empty, my journeys now include Kidz Bop and Pirate’s Booty by the crate. Yes, I do get to road trip it with friends from time to time thankfully, and think I might plan one for the fall!

Since I am headed up to my parent’s house in Michigan in a couple of weeks I decided to have my aging Highlander looked over by an expert to ensure that we would make the 350 mile journey without incident (ok, without vehicular incident- my kids have a knack for exploding juice boxes and faulty ketchup packets). We can’t WAIT to get up to the lake!

When I was younger, we had a local family-owned garage that we trusted. I knew they wouldn’t recommend parts or services that were not necessary, always charged a fair rate, and stood behind their work. I finally found similar service and integrity with HEART Certified Auto Care– from the minute I walked in, they made the process of car care less of an intimidation and more of an education.

The Moak family owns and operates HEART and has over 90 years of experience in the industry. HEART (which stands for Helping Everyone Achieve Reliable Transportation) recently re-branded from Duxler to better demonstrate their mission and core values.

Now on to the tips! 

How can you make sure your car is in tip top shape for the long stretches of road ahead?

I am certainly not knowledgeable about car parts- my first car ran out of oil because I didn’t know I had to change it.

BUT- I still want to know how bad the issues are in my car and become educated on why repairs are recommended so I don’t end up spending money on car repairs when I could spend it on a cute beach tote.

HEART uses SmartFlow tablets to digitally inspect your vehicle- they document everything and are able to visually explain it to you. For example, my brake pads were worn- instead of just telling me I needed new ones, they showed me the photos and measurements with a detailed chart:

I asked how long they thought I could last on my current brake pads- could I squeeze another few months out of them, especially since I was headed on multiple road trips? Also, I wanted to know what I could do to prevent future issues- they informed me that dirty air filters can negatively impact an engine’s performance and mine were on the way to filthy.

To save money, HEART’s discounts are clearly listed on their page, and the also offer the purchase of a discounted community auto repair booklet, allowing you to save 10% off popular services as well as donate 20% of the purchase price to a local charity of your choice. Grab the booklet here before they disappear!

They have three locations in the Chicago suburbs- Evanston, Wilmette, and Northbrook, worth the
trip if you want reliable, honest and high quality service.

PLUS- they have a family-friendly waiting room AND popcorn!

Cheers for summer road trips and reliable transportation that joins you on the journey!

Disclosure: I received services from HEART for review purposes; all opinions are honest and my own as always.