Hitting the road for Thanksgiving? Get ready with these tips

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Thanksgiving travel traffic is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels, with most people hitting the road instead of flying.

According to AAA, 54.6 million people are planning to travel around 50 miles or more, which is a 1.5% increase over 2021. Here are just a few travel safety tips for your upcoming holiday road trips, so you don’t get stuck or stranded this season, as suggested by Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals.

Lights

  • Check those head, tail, and turn signal lights!

Wipers

  • Make sure your wipers are in good condition, so you aren’t stuck with streaks on your windshield
  • Make sure you’ve got a full tank of wiper fluid with solvent if you plan to go to cooler areas where there may be ice or frost on your windshield

Battery

  • A car battery lifespan in Arizona is around 3 years, so make sure you get it at least checked or replaced

Tires

  • As temperatures drop, your tire pressure light will likely come on. Make sure your tires are nice and full!
  • National Highway Transportation Safety Administration research found that because of heat, tires tend to age faster. Cracks, bulges and worn tread can create some serious problems

Filters

  • Summertime in the Valley and monsoon go hand in hand, forcing dust, debris and all kinds of other gunk through your car’s air filters
  • Consider cleaning them to help your fuel efficiency, breathing quality in your vehicle and smell of your car

Cold weather and snow

  • Check your tire chains’ quality. Are your tire chains in good shape?
  • Test the air in your spare tire
  • If you have a four-wheel drive that you didn’t use in the summer, make sure it engages and disengages and that other drivers in your home know how to use it
  • To prevent freezing, aim for a 50-50 mix of antifreeze (coolant) and water in your radiator.
  • Consider having a professional check your coolant levels, pH balance and electrolysis in your vehicle
  • Check your gas and keep it full of quality gasoline so your gas lines don’t freeze over

Once you’ve tackled your car maintenance for the season, don’t forget to pack some emergency/survival essentials just in case something goes wrong on your trip. It never hurts to be prepared.

  • Blanket, boots, gloves and extra clothing
  • Mobile phone, charging cable and a backup power pack
  • Extra water and food, including hard candies
  • Ice scraper and a small shovel
  • Flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Flares and/or reflectors
  • Jumper cables
  • Tire gauge, spare tire and tire-changing equipment
  • First-aid kit
  • A bag of either sand, salt, or non-clumping kitty litter for traction if the tires get stuck in the snow.

With inflation, we all would like to save a little cash when it comes to gas and fuel efficiency with our vehicles. Some tips about how best to maximize your gallons from the experts would be to slow down, avoid sudden starts and stops, clean out your car of unnecessary weight, check your air filters, turn off your engine when you’re parked, use your cruise control as often as possible, check your tires when you fill up, and stay as up-to-date as you can on your car maintenance, so you’re on top of any vehicle trouble.