Simple steps to take before you head off on your holiday travels
AAA predicts more than 42 million people will be travelling 50 or more miles from home during the Thanksgiving weekend. For those who are relying on their cars to get them safely from point A to point B and beyond, here are some tips and suggestions to help ensure your travel plans go off without a hitch.
Before you leave it’s most important to make sure your car is in peak condition. That includes making sure all your lights (front, rear, brake, reverse, fog, turn signal and interior) are working. Your windshield should be clean and have no visible cracks, and your windshield wipers should be streak free and working properly. Make sure your windshield washer fluid reservoir is full, too.
Regardless of how far your journey will take you, your brakes are going to get a work out so make sure there’s no grinding, squeaking or squealing. Your tires should be inflated to the proper tire pressure (see your owner’s manual or the door jamb of your car for proper air pressure) and should have good tread left. If you have any doubts, be sure to see a professional. If your tires haven’t been rotated in a while, have it done before you leave. Any tire balancing or wheel alignment necessary can be done at the same time to minimize uneven wear and extend the life of your tires. Be sure to have any equipment that may be necessary along your route or at your destination, like tire changes if traveling in the mountains, a bag of kitty litter or sand if you may encounter snow or ice, etc. A couple of flares, a flashlight and some extra batteries are always useful, too.
It’s best to check your oil and other fluid levels, even if you’ve had an oil change recently. If any seem low, it’s best to stop by the dealership and let the service techs see if there’s any issue. While you’re there, ask them to check all hoses, belts and other issues like noises or smells that may concern you. If you need to have anything replaced, the dealership experts will likely have the necessary parts on hand and know your car better than anyone else.
Plan your travel days and routes in advance. “The day before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year, closely followed by the Sunday after the big day,” reports The Travel Channel. The Red Cross recommends that you start your trip with a full tank of gas, be well rested and alert, pay attention to the road and make frequent stops, switching drivers if necessary. If you have a smartphone using apps such as Waze and Beat the Traffic can help to keep your travel times to a minimum, but keeping an old-fashioned map handy is always a smart backup plan.
One of the best ways to ensure safe and uneventful travels is to bring your vehicle into the dealership so the trained technicians who know your car best can make sure it is ready for the road.
This article is presented by Jack Maxton Chevrolet in Worthington, Ohio.