Millions of Americans travel by car each year to visit family and friends during the holidays. It’s crucial to make sure your car is in top condition before you hit the open roads. A pre-travel checklist can help you avoid a breakdown that could disrupt your plans. To be sure, visit your local auto repair shop for a much-needed car tuneup.
Essential Holiday Pre-Travel Checklist
1. Fix any known problems
It is easy to put off car repairs, especially during the holiday season. You should fix any issues you have with your car before you leave for the holidays. You could end up freezing to death if you don’t fix it.
2. Perform any needed maintenance
It’s important to do routine maintenance before you travel. Routine car maintenance can include everything from flushing coolant to changing spark plugs. For information on the maintenance required for your vehicle, refer to your owner’s manual and supplemental service booklet.
3. Check out the fluids
Your car can develop leaks or other problems even if you stick to a regular maintenance schedule. Before you set out on your next road trip, make sure to check all the fluids. Under the hood, you can check the engine oil and brake fluid as well as the transmission fluid, power steering, and coolant. Remember to never remove the cooling system cap from the engine while it is hot. This could lead to serious personal injury.
4. Test the heater
If you live in a warm area, it is possible that you have not used your car’s heater as much this year. This is the time to check that your heating system is working properly. You don’t want your heater to go out in winter.
5. Find the right mix of washer fluid
Many drivers are unaware that there are three types of washer fluid. They are all called summer, winter, and all-season. The summer blend is not recommended when it’s very cold outside. It tends to freeze in cold temperatures.
6. Check the tires
To ensure safe and hassle-free travel, you will want to inspect your car’s tires. Good tread is important all year, but it’s especially important in winter and autumn when snow and ice might be on the roads. You will first need to inspect your tires for damage. Any obvious signs such as cracks in the sidewalls or missing rubber could indicate a need for immediate replacement. Visit your trusted tire shop as soon as possible.
7. Take a look at the Wipers
Before you leave for your holiday, make sure to inspect your car’s wiper blades. It’s possible to encounter snow, rain, or even hail on your travels. It is very easy to check a set of wipers. You just need to turn on the windshield washers and wipers. A set of good blades will ensure a clean sweep that leaves the windshield clear and streak-free.
8. Check the Brakes
Safety is the number one priority of your car’s brakes. You need to have the best stopping power possible, especially during winter when there may be snow or other dangers. To ensure that your brakes are in top condition, you should inspect them at least twice per year. You should check your brakes regularly if you haven’t done so recently.
9. Make sure to bring cold-weather essentials for your road trip
You might want to spend a little time thinking about the safety and well-being of your passengers inside your car while you are focusing on car maintenance. It’s impossible to predict what you might find on the open roads this holiday season. Therefore, it is a good idea to have a list of cold-weather essentials for your road trips.
10. Consider professional pre-trip inspection
It’s a smart idea to have someone else inspect your vehicle before you go. Even if your vehicle is only in need of an oil change, most repair shops will offer a free “courtesy check”.
Call Miller Brothers Transmission Auto Repair and Body Shop today to prep your car for holiday road trips.
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