KY3 Checklist: Getting your car ready for holiday travel

Published: Dec. 20, 2020 at 11:11 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The American Automobile Association (AAA), expects a nearly 30-percent decrease in overall holiday travelers amid the pandemic. Predicting a large majority of holiday travelers, about 81 million in total to go by car this year.

Ryan Kuse is a manager at A1 Custom Car Care. He says while fewer travelers are hitting the roads this year compared to last, auto shops’ customer traffic has been average. He says there has been a recent uptick as we approach the holiday, which is typical nearing the holidays.

“The actual amount of customers is about the same. However, it doesn’t feel as spontaneous. Everything seems to be much more planned out, and everyone’s kinda making those adjustments.”

Kuse says the most common thing people are coming in for is oil checks and changes. But there are other important things that need to be checked.

1. Windshield wipers: Changing your wipers will help with visibility. It’s best to change them now as the new year approaches many people forget when and if they replaced their wiper blades.

2. Check your tires: don’t take any chances with your wheels when traveling a great distance in the winter. Your tire pressure, tread, and wheel alignments are crucial for your drives to be smooth.

3. Double-check all fluids: take one last look at your fluid levels and make sure they’re all topped off (vital fluids: like engine oils, coolants, and washer fluids) to help avoid any unnecessary breakdowns during your holiday commute.

4. Don’t forget your emergency winter kit: Once your vehicle is safe for the roads, Kuse says there’s another essential item people forget to pack in the winter-- an emergency preparedness car kit. “Be sure to have some sort of supply box or emergency pack in the vehicle in case of bad weather. If you’re traveling into snow or inclement conditions, have water and blankets and those sort of things, so that you’re ready if you do have any unplanned stops.” For a full list of things to pack in your emergency click here.

Kuse, says it’s important to have a qualified technician go over any safety items on your vehicle and remind you of any past due repairs that may have been neglected or ignored. Although shops may still have holiday availability, Kuse recommends calling and checking ahead before taking your vehicle in.

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