HOUSTON – With summer quickly approaching, millions of Americans will hit the road, and the first road trip on deck: Memorial Day weekend.
Before you get behind the wheel, drivers, make sure your car is in tip-top shape. To help you do just that, here are the top five things you need to know.
Especially, as AAA expects a significant rebound in travel for this holiday compared to last year. Nearly 3 million Texans are expected to hit the road, up 60% from last year.
Also, keep in mind: many of our cars have been parked in the driveway for longer than usual because of the pandemic, so here are the top five things you need to look out for to make sure your car is safe and ready to hit the road.
- Check tires and tire pressure: Paul Stehr, owner of Christian Brothers Automotive in the West Galleria area showed us where we should look for our tire pressure information and it’s usually on the inside of the driver’s door. “When it gets really hot, the pressure of the tire actually goes up, so depending on the season, the tire pressure might not be in its ideal space, so it’s something we might want to check,” Stehr said. Also, don’t forget to check the tread on your tire before hitting the pavement!
- Listen and feel the brakes: The pads do wear out and need to be replaced from time to time. Stehr also warns you could have some minor rust buildup on your breaks from not driving your car as much during the pandemic. This might be the reason you hear a loud screeching noise when pressing on your break while backing out of your driveway. Stehr recommends to drive your vehicle every now and again to prevent this from happening.
- Secure and test your battery: “And if a battery is more than three years old, it’s a good idea to have it tested by a trained technician to determine how long it could last,” recommends Josh Zuber, spokesperson for AAA.
- Top off engine oil and other fluids
- Ask for an AC diagnostic to keep the AC running cool: This is not something you want going out when you have a car full of people on a hot summer day. Changing your air filter will also help your AC run in tip-top shape!
Also worth noting: According to AAA, though Texas has not been impacted, drivers headed to Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia and Delaware may experience varying impacts on gas supply due to the Colonial Pipeline shutdown. So experts advise drivers to confirm they have fuel and make sure you understand the fuel supply circumstances in areas you are traveling through on your road trip. AAA says this is only temporary and urges against panic-buying of gasoline. There is an ample supply of gas in the United States.