The upcoming Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year for driving. According to AAA, nearly 35 million people will be driving more than 50 miles on the road this weekend, the highest it has been since the Great Recession began in 2008. For about 86 percent of those drivers, it will be their last road trip of the year, taking a final journey on the road before the school year starts for a great number of children and young people. With this in mind, Mr. Transmission would like to remind you of some tips to ensure that your travels are safe, and your car can endure the long distance.
Undergo a routine check
If you're going out on a long-distance trip, you want to make sure that everything is functioning properly. You don't want to end up breaking down in the middle of nowhere because your coolant is leaking, after all. There are many ways to ensure your car is in top shape for the trip, and one of them is to visit an auto repair franchise such as Mr. Transmission, where professional mechanics can look through everything, including the parts you may have trouble inspecting. The things they should be looking at are the suspension, the steering gear, the A/C unit, and the transmission. You may even need to have your transmission fluid flushed, so that it doesn't bake in the sun and get cooked by the engine. Among the things you can check yourself are the oil, the wiper blades and fluids and the coolant levels.
Keep your tires well-inflated
The Labor Day weekend is the last real weekend of the summer, so the weather will likely be between warm and hot. That can have a great impact on your tires. Too much air, and the expanding air caused by the hotter temperatures, will cause the tire to pop. If there's too little air, the tire will rip apart in a blowout by stretching beyond its intended limits. A blowout could cause a great hindrance on your trip at best, an accident at worst. It's a good idea to check the tires' air pressure during a routine drive. From there, inflate the tires until they're at the optimal, not maximum, level. It will save you a lot of trouble throughout the trip.
Have a back-up repair plan
Of course, even with the best preparation, something can go wrong. You suffer a breakdown of some kind in the middle of nowhere, with the nearest gas station or repair station being dozens if not hundreds of miles away. As a consequence, you want to make sure you have something in place to ensure that being stuck isn't too much of a hassle. Having a basic repair kit that includes screwdrivers, duct tape, vice grips and a flashlight, can be a great start. A roadside rescue service can also be a useful help, so that when things go really awry, you'll have access to a tow service that will at least get you somewhere safe.
Avoid traffic as much as possible
Steering clear of all traffic can be a tricky business, especially during the holiday weekend. However, stop-and-go traffic can really affect your car's performance, and can do things such as wear down the brakes over time. Long traffic jams will make that worse. So it's a good idea to do what you can to avoid all congestion if possible. Plan your trip so that you avoid major areas of congestion during rush hour, or before traffic really starts rolling in. When possible, take some back roads or scenic routes to your destination. In doing these basic steps, you can not only help your vehicle, but can likely get to where you're going faster.
For more car care tips, visit the Mr. Transmission website!