Car Maintenance Tips For Holiday Travel
Always check oil and all fluids before travel. Simple basic maintenance for things like checking your oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, power steering fluid or even the air in your tires is always recommended before any travel, but especially during the holidays when a lot of auto centers won’t be open regular hours. Add to the list a window scraper, some deicer and a check of belts and battery cables so there are no surprises along the way.
Make sure you have a spare tire and jack available. Don’t hit the road without that emergency spare tire and jack to change it with. Nobody wants a flat tire while traveling, but it can and does happen more often than not. Winter is especially tough for changing tires, so you may want to also include an extra blanket to have to lay or sit on the ground as you change the tire. A tire gauge, bottle of fix a flat and patch kit can all come in handy as well when repairing a flat tire. If you will be traveling in an area with snow or ice, also add some snow chains to your kit just in case they are needed.
Update your winter emergency car kit. Go through your winter emergency car kit and make sure you have plenty of water, non-perishable snacks, a radio, charger for phones and of course heat source or Kevlar blankets to keep warm should you need it. First aid kits should be updated and expired medications removed and replaced. Gloves, scarves and an extra change of clothing can also be added just in case. If you want to also carry an activity book for kids in case you get stuck somewhere for a long period of time, that would be great!
Upgrade your road side assistance plan. During the holidays, most auto shops are going to have limited hours in those small towns between your home and destination. Their prices may also be outrageous to tow or assist should something happen. Making sure you have a quality updated roadside assistance plan can save you literally thousands of dollars if you have a last minute emergency. AAA and Good Sam offer the two best and most affordable plans. While not directly car maintenance tips, this does give you a backup plan should something happen unexpectedly while on the road.
Keep a set of important papers in your emergency kit. Not only do you want an updated insurance card, but a copy of your policy can be vital. Do the same with your health insurance policies, basic emergency numbers including family and physician or pharmacy.
These car maintenance tips for holiday travel will help keep you and your family safe while on the road. With so many people traveling throughout the holiday season, it is vital to have your car in top shape to avoid lengthy delays should something occur.
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