Don’t Wait: Preparing Your Car for Holiday Driving

Published: Friday, November 23, 2018 | 11:29 PM


Most think proper prep for a holiday road trip about stuffing suitcases into the trunk and grabbing your favorite stuffing recipe than about car maintenance. This is understandable; holiday seasons are hectic. However, some planning will make a big difference in getting to your destination safely and arrive there with a few shreds of your sanity leftover. Here are a few ways to ready your yourself, and your car, for a great holiday tradition: the American road trip.

JK Volvo tells us that holiday road trips can be especially frustrating when things go wrong because, guess what, those people who are usually there to help fix things are also out for the holidays and that is why proper preparation is essential for good road trip results. A minute of preparation saves an hour of problem-solving and with that in mind we have the following preparatory suggestions for your holiday road trip:

Get Your Car Serviced

• Fluids under the hood keep the mechanicals from seizing and that means it’s vital to check and change them often. Oil, transmission fluid, and brake fluid are the three main fluids to check.
• Check the antifreeze, hoses, and radiator to make sure your engine stays within optimal operation temperatures during your trip.
• Bad windshield wipers can make driving in the rain a nightmare so change them out before you leave if your blades are over six months old and check the windshield washer fluid and make sure you have a full tank.
• Get your tires rotated and inspected. The last thing you need is to be driving on bald tires. Better to err on the side of caution and replace tires that are worn. If your tires are in good condition, then double check the pressure against manufacturer’s specifications when they are cold to ensure proper pressure as this helps will help with fuel economy.

Make an Emergency Kit

Better safe than sorry. Prepare your car for that ‘just in case’ moment with the right supplies:

• jumper cables,
• small shovel,
• sand or kitty litter for traction,
• flares,
• flashlight,
• small knife,
• ice scraper,
• rope,
• blankets,
• energy bars,
• water,
• waterproof matches,
• good first-aid kit,
• gloves.

Safeguard the Interior

• Depending on where you are traveling to, winter weather might be a real factor so purchase all-weather floor mats to save your carpet. They do a great job of keeping the yucky stuff in one place. You might also pick up spot remover spray, paper towels or a good old rag for wiping, and a trash bag or two.

Stock up on Entertainment for the Kids/Fidgety Adults

Your passengers will need entertainment for two important reasons:

• The number one reason is that it keeps everyone sane during the long journey because you know how crazy it can get on road trips.
• The second reason is to keep passengers from distracting the driver.

For those reasons, you might want to pick up games, books, DVDs, some sing-a-long music, and some puzzle books.

Do a Little Research

• For those states you will be traveling through, you need to know those state’s laws because it’s easy to forget that road rules can change once you’re across the state line.
• Navigation maps on your phone are a key item in the road warrior’s toolbox. But having a fold-out map with your routes and alternate routes marked is needed just in case.
• Check the weather at your destination before leaving on a trip and check the forecast along the entire route. That way, you can plan for things like snow, rain, or even extreme weather that can pop up along the way, and have a plan in place just in case you will need to get off the road when extreme weather shows up.

The team at JK Volvo will be happy to prepare your car for these epic journeys and will make sure that everything is ready for your road trip. A little time and effort now will most likely save you a lot of time and effort later. So, call Mike Kafalas today and make your appointment now so that your car is tip top, and then go out and purchase those suggested items that will help make your trip not only bearable but even a little fun.

JK Volvo is located at 1587 E Walnut St, in Pasadena. For more information, call (626) 792-2240 or visit jkvolvospecialists.com.