6 things to check before your Thanksgiving road trip

Director Milstead says holiday traffic delays are already starting.

PHOENIX – More than 50 million people in the U.S. will be going farther than 50 miles from home for the Thanksgiving weekend, according to AAA.

And almost 90 percent of those travelers will be hitting the highway to get to their destination.

So the people of Arizona Auto Care gave us a simple checklist you can go through before starting the engine to have a safe and stress-free trip.

ENGINE OIL

There are marks on the dipstick which show the safe zone for your engine oil level.

“If it’s in the bottom hash marks, you need to add a quart [of oil],” said Josh Tilson, a specialist at Arizona Auto Care in Phoenix.

He also suggests checking your oil at the gas station so the engine has some time to warm up.

COOLANT

Before leaving to the gas station, you want to check your engine coolant level.

“In this case, you want to make sure your fluid is not hot,” said Tilson, because the coolant can create steam and pressure build-up.

So, open the cap very slowly.

If your engine is slightly warm, you may notice the level above “cold full” as the fluid expands with increasing temperatures.

WINDSHIELD WASHER FLUID

Foolproof: All you need is to buy washer fluid and fill the reservoir.

“When you’re traveling long-distance, there’s lot of bugs, lots of things that can get on your windshield,” said Tilson. “You want that clean so you can see well.”

TIRE PRESSURE

The ideal pressure for your tires will be listed inside the door frame of the driver seat.

Tilson said it’s best to put the right amount of tire pressure when the car -- specifically the tires -- are cold.

That’s especially important if you’re traveling to Flagstaff or other areas where the temperatures are colder.

TIRE TREAD

There are tools you can buy an auto part stores to measure your tire tread. 

“[Tires] have what’s called wear bars,” said Tilson “when those bars are missing, that’s when you know your tire depth is gone.”

SPARE TIRE

Even the tires with the best tread could go flat if you run over a nail or something sharp.

Know where your spare is and make sure that tire is filled to specification as noted above.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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