Nobody wants to be surprised with car trouble, especially on the way to a family dinner! One way to ensure you will get to dinner in time for turkey on Thanksgiving weekend is by making sure that the vehicle you will be driving is running well.
A Thanksgiving pre-trip inspection helps reduce the chance of costly and possibly dangerous on the road trouble. It also provides an opportunity to have repairs done by mechanics you trust. Especially important, it provides peace of mind. While no inspection can guarantee a car’s performance, it’s comforting to know proper precautions were taken to avoid a ‘turkey’ of a holiday weekend.
The Car Care Council suggests the following 10-minute checkup to help ensure vehicle safety and reliability on Thanksgiving, when millions of Americans take to the roads to visit family and friends:
- 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 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 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.
Make sure to also restock your emergency car kit -- if you don't have one yet don't delay! Make sure you have supplies like tennis shoes, blanket, band-aids just in case your car leaves you on the side of the road. Also, check to see if your gas cap is damaged, loose or missing as it should be replaced to prevent gas from spilling or evaporating.