Thanksgiving is the busiest time of year for travel. For most people, the last thing they want to think about is servicing their cars. However with the roadways jammed full of holiday travelers, this can be one of the worst times to experience a breakdown.
Here are a few things to check before hitting the road:
Check the tires
Make sure the tires are properly inflated. The correct tire pressure is listed on a label inside the driver door jam on most vehicles. Maintaining proper inflation will increase fuel mileage as well as prevent premature wear on your tires. Also check for excessive wear on the inside of your tires. A car that is not properly aligned will wear on the inside, which is difficult to see. Tires that are bald or showing wires should be replaced ASAP, and definitely before any long-distance travel.
Check fluid levels
Make sure your oil level is between the crosshatches on the dipstick. Oil should be changed if it’s close to the mileage interval recommended by your car's manual. Top off coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and washer fluid levels.
Check lighting and wipers
Make sure the headlights (high beams and low beams), front and rear turn signals, hazard, and brake lights are working properly. Replace the wiper blades if they streak or hop across the windshield.
Have cars inspected
Before traveling long distances, it is recommended that you take the vehicle to a reputable service shop for an inspection. The inspection should include checking the vehicle's brakes, suspension, tires, and fluid levels. This will bring to attention any problems that need an immediate fix.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, and be careful on the roads!