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Students take precautions before spring break

March 7, 1997

Matthew Lester / The Baylor Lariat

Charles Ramsey, a Brazil senior, washes a friend's car at Genie Car Wash located on La Salle Avenue.

By Lisa Zapata

Lariat Staff Writer

In the mad dash to get out of town as soon as possible for spring break, students may want to stop and check a few minor car details to ensure their vehicles will reach their destinations.

When driving long distances, students should begin by checking the exterior of the car, such as tire tread and pressure, said Roger Baugh, foreman and manager of Pro Auto Service, located on W. Waco Drive.

The paint of a vehicle should not be ignored, either. Clarence Willis, the assistant manager of Genie Car Wash on Valley Mills, said students should wash their cars on average twice a month, and definitely before long car trips.

'You always want to start off with a clean car,' Willis said.

If the car is not washed before the trip, more impurities will gather on the car on top of what was already there, and they need to be removed, Willis said.

Genie Car Wash does see an increase in business as students prepare for trips during spring break and other vacation times during the year.

Willis said a car should be completely washed when going from one season to another to protect the paint.

Baugh said students should change the oil and check all the belts, hoses and filters. The CV boots need to be inspected as well. These hold the grease to prevent severe damage to the transmission or the car.

When checking the belts and hoses, students are actually checking the cooling system of the vehicle, Baugh said.

'If they (students) are traveling 1,000 miles or more, I would recommend stopping every 250 to 300 miles for a few minutes,' Baugh said.

Driving for 500 to 600 miles straight does not take a huge toll on vehicles today, Baugh said.

Hal Lynch, a manager at the Texaco station at S. 17th and Interstate 35, said he recommended students get their veicle's oil changed at least two days before making a long trip.

'You never know when something's going to happen,' Lynch said, and it is important to

allow time before a long trip in case problems develop.

Students who are driving long distances today and still need to have their oil changed should wait until after the trip to avoid problems an oil change might induce.

Travelers should check to make sure there is enough oil, Lynch said, but he 'would recommend that you hold off and wait' to get an oil change after the trip.

Daniel Eady, a Memphis, Tenn., graduate student and University Coordinator of Special Performances for Student Activities, said, 'Normally, I first get the oil changed, and approximately every 12 to 15,000 miles I change the air filter. I also check out the tires to see that they are holding air well.'

Things to Do Before Driving Off

1. Check tire tread and pressure

2. Check oil

3. Check all belts, hoses and filters

4. Wash car thoroughly

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