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Road Trip Essentials
What are your holiday plans this year? Are you looking for a staycation, or are you ready to hit the open road? Taking a road trip to see family and friends is part of the holiday tradition for many.
However, you need to ensure you’re safe on the roadways, as it’s shaping up to be a rough winter around the country. You want to ensure that you’re prepared if disaster should strike, and you need to make certain your automobile is in top shape for travel.
Things You Need to Travel Safely for the Season
While the weather in the state of North Carolina varies greatly, we’re not known for ample amounts of snow around here. Consequently, you may travel to destinations where snowfall is measured in feet, not inches. Look at the massive storm that recently hammered the Buffalo, NY, area. Here are some tips for traveling safely during the holidays and being prepared for the unexpected.
1. Get The Oil Changed
It’s always advisable to change your oil before hitting the open road. You must ensure that the oil change is on time, or you should make sure that it won’t become due during your travels. Having fresh oil in the car helps with mileage and will prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your engine.
2. Check the Tire Tread
Is your tire tread where it should be? If the tires measure 6/32” or above, it’s safe to drive. However, if you’re below 5/32,” you should consider replacing them before going on a trip. You increase the chances of an incident like a blowout when you drive on tires with poor tread.
3. Get an Inspection
If you’re traveling far, it’s wise to get an inspection before you make any trip. Here at Carolina Auto Service, we inspect cars daily. Having a mechanic put your vehicle on the rack and look for issues with tie rods, ball joints, sway bar end links, brakes, rotors, and other mechanical problems is wise.
When you’re flying down the roadways going 75-80 mpg, the last thing you want to do is throw a rod. Inspections bring peace of mind that you and your family are safe when traveling during the busy holiday rush.
4. Pack a First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is imperative in any vehicle. If an accident should happen or you’re stuck in your car for an extended period, you never know how valuable this kit is until you need it. Some people put aspirin and other pain relievers, band-aids, and creams in their gear. You can buy one in the store or make one customized to your needs.
5. Invest in Portable Jump Starter or Jumper Cables
For some reason, batteries always seem to act up during the cold season. So if you have a battery that goes bad, you may need to charge it enough to get to a center to buy a new one.
The new portable jump start system with lithium-ion power is small enough to fit in your glove box. However, if you prefer the old-fashioned cables, those are affordable and something you should always have with you.
6. Pack Flares and Cones
It would help if you were prepared for any emergency. Flares and small cones can come in handy if you redirect traffic away from an accident. Should you be involved in a collision at night, directing people away from you may save your life.
7. Bring Blankets and Things to Keep Warm
You never know what might happen from your home to your arrival at your destination. You might have issues with your heater and must drive in the cold. Additionally, if you’re involved in an accident, you may be unable to run the heater.
Since it’s the cold season, you need blankets, gloves, hats, and other things that can help keep you warm should you be exposed to the elements for any length of time.
8. Bring Snacks and Water
Packing some snacks and drinks has many advantages. First, buying these things at service stations is always way more expensive. Second, you know you’ll have some food if you are stranded.
Children and people who must take medications have a low tolerance for hunger, and it can make them sick to take pills on an empty stomach. Do yourself a favor and bring a few things to eat, as it will save you in the long run.
9. Bring Your Electronic Charging Cables
Everyone uses electronics these days, and you must have all your charging cables to ensure things stay powered. You need your phone to maintain a charge in case you need to call for help. Plus, you certainly don’t want the children’s electronics to die when you’re on a long trip, as this could be bad for everyone involved.
Heading Out for a Holiday Excursion
There’s something magical about going over the river and through the woods to see your loved ones. However, the weather doesn’t always cooperate, and you may find yourself driving from point A to point B in some stressful situations.
Thankfully, with some preparation, you can make your holiday trip easier for all involved. As always, call Carolina Auto Care to get your car roadworthy and ensure your safety during the season.