One way to avoid a turkey of a Thanksgiving road trip is to make sure the vehicle you will be driving is running well. A 10-minute pre-trip check is small potatoes compared to a big helping of inconvenience if you break down many miles away from home, according to the Car Care Council.
“A pre-trip vehicle check provides peace of mind, helping reduce the chance of costly car trouble and providing an opportunity to have any repairs performed by one’s own trusted technician before hitting the road,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “While no inspection can guarantee a car’s performance, it’s comforting to know proper precautions were taken to ensure a stress-free Thanksgiving road trip.”
The Car Care Council suggests the following 10-minute vehicle check to help ensure safety and reliability on the road:
- Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
- Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering and brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
- Check the hoses and belts that can become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.
- Check lighting to identify any problems with exterior and interior lighting as the chance of an accident increases if you can’t see or be seen.
- Check wipers. Wiper blades should be replaced every six months. Make sure the windshield wipers are working properly and keep the reservoir filled with solvent.
The Car Care Council also recommends that motorists restock their emergency kit. To save on fuel costs during the trip, the council suggests that motorists avoid aggressive driving, observe the speed limit and avoid excessive idling. Gas caps that are damaged, loose or missing should be replaced to prevent gas from spilling or evaporating.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.