No one wants to have their holiday travel plans ruined due to their vehicle breaking down, so make sure you give it plenty of attention before hand. Complete a thorough check of all the routine items on your vehicle. The oil should be changed and you will want to check all the fluids including the transmission fluid, windshield wiper fluid, and brake fluid.
Dont wait until something breaks on your vehicle to replace it, especially when you are traveling for the holidays. Carefully inspect all of the hoses for signs of wear as you never know when they will end up breaking. If you havent used your windshield wipers for a while make sure they are in good condition.
Have someone stand behind your vehicle so you can make sure both of your turn signals work as well as your break lights. Replace any bulbs that are burned out or seem to be dim. Do the same for your headlights on both low beams and high beams. This will ensure other vehicles are able to see you coming and know when you are planning to stop or to turn. It is a good idea to carry fuses in your glove box so that you can replace any that may burn out during your travel for the holidays.
Your tires are very important when you are traveling for the holidays. Check the wear patterns on the tread to make sure they are in good shape. Of the two front tires are wearing unevenly you may need to have your vehicle aligned. You may find it is time to rotate the tires on your vehicle as well. This involves moving the front ones to the back and the back ones to the front.
Depending on the time of year when you travel for the holidays, you may experience bad weather. Make sure you have a survival kit in your car that includes tire changes which many end up being mandatory to drive on the roads in some areas. You also want this survival kit to include a flashlight with fresh batteries, flares, food, water, a first aid kit, blankets, a car jack, and a gas can.
It is a good idea to make sure you have a cell phone will you as well. Most models come with a battery charger that plugs right into your cigarette lighter so you dont have to worry about the battery running low while you are traveling for the holidays. If you dont want to get caught up in a lengthy cell phone contract, look for those offered at retail stores. They are inexpensive and they work well. However, you buy the amount of minutes you want for the phone in advance. When the minutes run out you can choose to buy more or simple get rid of the phone.
It is never a good idea to be in a vehicle without seatbelts for all passengers. However, some states dont require the use of a seatbelt so people dont pay attention to them working or not. If you are traveling out of state for the holidays you may be going through those that do require them and you need to be prepared.
Accidents can still happen even when you have properly prepared your vehicle for holiday travel. Seatbelts and car seats offer you a way to reduce the chances of serious injury if such an event does take place. In your glove box you should have a disposable camera so you can take pictures of the accident scene for your insurance company. Make sure you have a pen and paper handy as well so you can exchange insurance and personal information with the other party involved.
Thousands of people choose to travel for the holidays using their own personal vehicle. Doing your very best to make sure your vehicle is in excellent working condition will help you to arrive at your destination safely.
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