MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — People aren’t just flying for Thanksgiving, millions more will hit the road for the holiday.
And a good portion of them are likely to run into car trouble along the way.
Triple-A estimates it will have to help 360,000 drivers in the days around Thanksgiving. Flat tires are one of the main reasons.
WCCO’s Jeff Wagner visited an auto repair shop to learn their four suggestions to prepare your vehicle for that trip to grandma’s house.
A sea of brake lights are like holiday decorations for the highway this time of year, and before you get trapped in them, a trip to a repair shop like Bobby and Steve’s could do your vehicle some good.
“A lot of people heading out of town, you know making sure they’re safe for their travels,” Bobby & Steve’s Service Leader Greg Wax said.
Because of that, your visit might not be so quick.
“Longer wait times than usual, about 5-6 hours,” Wax said.
But it could save you valuable time and money in the long run, since regular maintenance can be much cheaper than major repairs.
“Tires for one are a big thing for me,” Wax said.
Wax says to check the tire pressure. Underinflated tires take longer the stop and are more likely to go flat.
“Lights is a big thing if you’re traveling. Make sure your headlights work, your blinkers work,” Wax said.
Tip No. 3 is critical this time of year.
“You want to get your battery tested before you head out of town so you don’t get stranded with the car not starting,” Wax said.
A weak or old battery like this one will struggle to start in the cold. That’s why getting it replaced – or at least tested – is smart ahead of a long drive.
And don’t forget to check the pressure on your fifth tire of your car, your spare. And make sure you have the tools necessary, like a jack, to switch it out in case you get a flat.
Booking an appointment amid the holiday hustle might seem like a hassle – but at least you planned it – before a needed repair forced it.
“The sooner people take care of things the better,” Wax said.