Drive down any highway and you're sure to see someone broken down on the side of the road. This is an especially unfortunate situation if you're on a road trip because it can significantly alter your plans for a few hours to a few days, depending on the severity of the problem. While such bad luck isn't completely avoidable, there are some steps you can take to minimize the chance you'll be stuck waiting for a tow truck.
Preventive maintenance is the best way to ensure that your car is in good working condition. Take your car in for an oil change and see to it that the mechanic tops off your antifreeze, brake fluid and power steering fluid. Have him or her inspect your hoses, belts and brakes for signs of wear. If the weather is going to be warm during your trip, you'll also want the technician to check your car's air-conditioning system. To be sure that you can actually see the beautiful sights on your trip, fill your washer fluid reservoir and check that your wipers are in good condition. Finally, make sure your tire pressure falls within the manufacturer's recommended range to prevent flat tires and blowouts. Take a little time to do these things before you leave, and you may save yourself a lot of grief later.