5 Essential Summer Car-Care Tips

Before hitting the road this summer, make sure your ride is in good condition.

The weak economy is still putting a damper on travel, but low gasoline prices are enticing people into their cars. According to AAA, 27 million people will take a road trip this Memorial Day weekend, up from 26.3 million last year.

Last summer, travelers battled record-high gas prices -- a gallon of regular fuel cost $3.94, on average, on Memorial Day 2008. As Memorial Day 2009 approaches, the national average is $2.24 a gallon. If you drive 300 miles and your vehicle gets 25 miles per gallon, you'll spend about $20 less on fuel.

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Row 0 - Cell 0 2009 Car Buying Guide
Row 1 - Cell 0 10 Best Values in Used Cars
Row 2 - Cell 0 TOOL: What's Your Real MPG?

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Jessica L. Anderson
Associate Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Anderson has been with Kiplinger since January 2004, when she joined the staff as a reporter. Since then, she's covered the gamut of personal finance issues—from mortgages and credit to spending wisely—and she heads up Kiplinger's annual automotive rankings. She holds a BA in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was the 2012 president of the Washington Automotive Press Association and serves on its board of directors. In 2014, she was selected for the North American Car and Truck Of the Year jury. The awards, presented at the Detroit Auto Show, have come to be regarded as the most prestigious of their kind in the U.S. because they involve no commercial tie-ins. The jury is composed of nationally recognized journalists from across the U.S. and Canada, who are selected on the basis of audience reach, experience, expertise, product knowledge, and reputation in the automotive community.