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Don’t Let Your Thanksgiving Road Trip be a Turkey


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One way to avoid a turkey of a Thanksgiving road trip is to make sure the vehicle you will be driving is running well. A 10-minute pre-trip check is a quick and easy way to help avoid the inconvenience of a breakdown many miles away from home, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council suggests the following pre-trip check to help ensure safety and reliability on the road:

  1. Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering and brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
  2. Check the hoses and belts that can become loose, cracked, brittle, frayed or showing signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.
  3. Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
  4. Check lighting to identify any problems with exterior and interior lighting as the chance of an accident increases if you can’t see or be seen.
  5. Check wipers. Wiper blades should be replaced every six months. Make sure the windshield wipers are working properly and keep the reservoir filled with solvent.

“A pre-trip vehicle check provides peace of mind,” said Nathan Perrine, executive director, Car Care Council. “Taking proper precautions provides an opportunity to have any repairs performed by one’s own trusted technician before hitting the road, reducing the chance of costly car trouble away from home.”

To save on fuel costs during the trip, the Car Care Council suggests that motorists avoid aggressive driving, observe the speed limit and avoid excessive idling. Gas caps that are damaged, loose or missing should be replaced to prevent gas from spilling or evaporating. The council also recommends that car owners restock their roadside emergency kit.

The non-profit Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For the latest car care news, visit the council’s online media room at

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. To order a free copy of the popular Car Care Guide, visit the council’s consumer education website at
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