Car care tips for holiday travel

View mobile site

View mobile site

Monday, June 30, 2014 | 4:46 p.m.

Atlanta Journal Constitution

Powered by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta Bargain Hunter

Posted: 12:00 p.m. Monday, June 30, 2014


20140611115908chevychase photo

By Nedra Rhone

Friday is July 4th and almost 35 million Americans will hit the highway, traveling at least 50 miles from their homes, according to AAA auto club. That is the highest number of road travelers since 2007.

Independence Day travel will run from Wed., July 2 to Sun., July 6. Much of the talk about holiday travel has focused on gas prices which are at the highest level of any July 4th weekend since 2008. High gas prices are not likely to reduce holiday travel, but you canreduce your fuel consumption with these five habits.

Before you hit the road, you will also want to get your car ready for the highway. Pam Oakes, car technician, shop owner and author of “Car Care for the Clueless,” suggests taking your car to an ASE certified technician for a quick check of the following: 

  1. Oil: If you’ll be doing lots of driving, get your oil changed. Be sure you know what brand and weight your car takes in case you have problems on the road. Have the technician write the information down for you and store it in your car manual.
  2. Antifreeze/coolant: This keeps the engine cool and keeps it from freezing over in the winter. While the fluid has nothing to do with your A/C, if your car overheats the A/C won’t work.
  3. Windshield wiper blades: Make sure you clean your blades before you travel or have them replaced if necessary. To clean them yourself, use a cleaner like 409 and paper towels.
  4. Transmission fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid: Be sure the technician checks each of these fluids. Also have the condition of the brake pads on the front and back of the car checked. If you’ve had any issues with the brakes, be sure to ask about it.
  5. Battery: Have your car battery checked to be sure it is in top working condition and have any battery acid residue cleaned.
  6. Tire conditions: Get your tires checked for wear before you leave and check the tire pressure. While you’re on the road, get in the habit of checking your tires when you stop to pump gas. Turn your wheels away from pump and look at the tread, Oakes says. If it looks funny, have it checked out immediately. Also keep track of your tire pressure. The proper pressure can be found on the driver’s side door jamb sticker.
  7. Lights: Before you leave, pull the car in your driveway at dusk and check your turn signals, break lights, parking lights, headlights and horn to make sure all are in working order.
  8. Assemble an emergency kit in your car with the following items:
  • Snacks
  • Paper towels
  • First aid kit with bug spray included.
  • Painter’s tarp. If you get caught in the rain with broken windows, you can cover your car.
  • Duct tape for multiple uses including small repairs after a fender bender.
  • Tire puncture sealer to help you keep rolling if you run over a nail. It will get you from point A to point B, just let the tech know you used it before they repair your tire.
  • A spare car key in a hide-a-key container under the car can be a lifesaver when you’ve locked your keys in the car.
  • LED roadside flares.
  • Dryer sheets. Use these with water to get bugs off of your car and prolong the life of your paint.

Nedra Rhone

About Nedra Rhone

Nedra Rhone finds and shares tips on money, deals and consumer issues in metro Atlanta for the AJC.

Connect with Nedra Rhone on:FacebookTwitter

Send Nedra Rhone an email.

Today on

Photos: MyAJC's top 5 for June 30, 2014

Photos: MyAJC’s top 5 for June 30, 2014

Youre paying more for gas: Heres why.

You’re paying more for gas: Here’s why

New revelation puts scrutiny on mother of dead Cobb toddler

Subscribe to the AJC on your device

24-hour Digital Pass: Flashback

In your community

Annual Woofstock event in Suwanee

Volunteering in Atlanta

“, “id”: “writecapture87239410″, “widget_prototype”: “writecapture_widget”});

Top news now from the AJC

Fatal crash on Athens Highway at Oak Grove Road

3 children among 5 killed in Hall County wreck

“, “id”: “writecapture7698918″, “widget_prototype”: “writecapture_widget”});

© 2014 Cox Media Group. By using this website,
you accept the terms of our Visitor Agreement and Privacy Policy, and understand your options regarding Ad ChoicesAdChoices.
Learn about careers at Cox Media Group

View mobile site

View mobile site

Enterprise Feedback Management
Survey Software

Select a display name and password

Already have an account? Sign In

{* #registrationForm *}
{* traditionalRegistration_displayName *}
{* traditionalRegistration_emailAddress *}
{* traditionalRegistration_password *}
{* traditionalRegistration_passwordConfirm *}

Tell us about yourself

{* registration_firstName *}
{* registration_lastName *}
{* registration_postalZip *}
{* registration_birthday *}
{* registration_gender *}

{* agreeToTerms *}

{* /registrationForm *}

Already have an account? Sign In

{* #registrationFormBlank *}
{* registration_firstName *}
{* registration_lastName *}
{* traditionalRegistration_displayName *}
{* traditionalRegistration_emailAddressBlank *}
{* registration_birthday *}
{* registration_gender *}
{* registration_postalZip *}
{* traditionalRegistration_passwordBlank *}
{* traditionalRegistration_passwordConfirmBlank *}

{* agreeToTerms *}

{* /registrationForm *}

We have sent you a confirmation email. Please check your email and click on the link to activate your account.

We look forward to seeing you frequently. Visit us and sign in to update your profile, receive the latest news and keep up to date with mobile alerts.

Don’t worry, it happens. We’ll send you a link to create a new password.

{* #forgotPasswordForm *}
{* forgotPassword_emailAddress *}

{* /forgotPasswordForm *}

We have sent you an email with a link to change your password.

We’ve sent an email with instructions to create a new password. Your existing password has not been changed.

To sign in you must verify your email address. Fill out the form below and we’ll send you an email to verify.

{* #resendVerificationForm *}
{* resendVerification_emailAddress *}

{* /resendVerificationForm *}

Check your email for a link to verify your email address.

Article source: