Check your ride before you drive this Christmas

Published 7:00 am Friday, December 23, 2016

The holidays are about celebrating the birth of Jesus, giving gifts, food and making resolutions.

They’re also about spending time with those you love and ensuring that time is well spent.

But first you have to get there. While some people will board planes, buses or trains to get where family and friends reside, the vast majority of holiday traveling will take place via automobile.

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To ensure that trip is relatively trouble free, here are some tips that might prevent the need for a roadside repair.

These simple preventive maintenance measures will go a long way to ensure you and your family arrive at your destination problem free, and that the trip back home is just as smooth.

Tire pressure is an automotive maintenance matter easily overlooked. Not many people look down at tires to ensure they are properly inflated. Under and over inflated tires can be a road hazard. Even if the tires don’t appear to be low on air, check them with a tire gauge.

The proper level of tire pressure is listed inside the driver’s side door of your vehicle, or the owner’s manual. While you are performing this task, check your spare tire for low pressure and other issues.

Oil changes are another routine automotive task that can be forgotten. Look for low oil levels and oil that appears black in color. If you decide to change the oil yourself, don’t forget the filter. Collect the used oil in an approved container for later recycling. Used oil can be taken to most any parts store, or an oil change business.

Another aspect of automotive maintenance often overlooked is the air filter. Clogged air filters negatively affect performance and fuel economy. Having the brakes inspected wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.

Lastly, if you don’t already have one, buy a cellphone charger for your vehicle or ensure your existing one still works. Being able to call for help will rectify any unexpected emergency.