The holiday season is upon us, and many of us will be taking to the roads visiting our families and friends. While driving may be a better alternative and will save you money, you need to ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy as we all know unexpected vehicle repairs can be costly. Osceola Garage, along with the Car Care Council, advises motorists that when planning a road trip over the holidays to follow the three Ps – Prepare, Prevent and Plan – to save money and avoid breakdowns.
- Conduct a pre-trip vehicle inspection. If you find your vehicle needs repairs, be sure to address them in a timely manner so they can be performed before your journey. While it may be tempting to put off repairs until after the holidays, it is not worth the risk and added expense of more extensive work down the road.
- The last thing you need is to break down in cold, harsh, winter weather. A pre-winter vehicle inspection is a sensible way to avoid the inconvenience of being stranded out in the cold as well as costly emergency towing and repairs.
- Before taking to the road, plan your route and review the council’s steps to better fuel economy to maximize savings at the pump. Pack a road emergency kit, including jumper cables, a road atlas, first-aid kit, flashlight with extra batteries, water, non-perishable food and blankets, and be sure your cell phone is fully charged.
In addition, we have outlined some basic tips to check before your journey.
- Ensure that your heater and defroster are tested and working properly.
- Check all fluids and make sure your engine has the proper amount of antifreeze protection.
- Check all exterior lights
- Replace old, worn-out wiper blades which can greatly reduce visibility in a winter storm.
- Check your washer fluid often this winter season and keep a spare bottle in the trunk.
- Check your tire condition and tire pressure often for maximum safety.
- If your car battery is more than 4 years old, it can fail without warning. Don’t get caught out in the cold, have your battery tested today.
- In the winter, warm up your car before heading out, make sure your wipers are cleared of any snow or ice and not stuck to the windshield.
- During a storm, slow down. Speed becomes your greatest enemy in bad weather, especially on ice and snow.
Taking proactive steps to prepare, prevent and plan in advance of your holiday road trip will help you avoid the hassle and expense of unplanned car trouble away from home.