Is your car ready for holiday travel? We have last minute advice - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Is your car ready for holiday travel? We have last minute advice!

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Listen up Christmas travelers: Don't let car trouble put the breaks on your holiday!

Heartland News set out for some advice to prevent you from experiencing a driving dilemma. 

Traveling is about a lot more than getting your oil changed and gassing up.  Proactive travelers who already learned the hard way and mechanics have easy tips to stop problems before you end up stranded. 

"That's exactly why I'm here it just gives me that extra check and that piece of mind," said Leah Kortmeyer.  

Kortmeyer's holiday drive includes traveling hundreds of miles into potential winter weather in Iowa and Nebraska. 

"I'll be putting a few thousand miles on it in the next couple of weeks," she said.  

She will be traveling all those miles alone, so she wants to avoid issues she's had before. 

"I've had tire problems. I've had shock issues and tires issues and it takes another whole day out of your time," she said. 

Other drivers agree.  

"If you've done your maintenance you're not going to have a problem and you're ready to go," said Robert Newbern. 

Newbern is here to set a good example for his daughter. 

"My daughter is coming down from St. Louis and I really preach to her about regular maintenance on her vehicle because I worry about her being on the highway," he said. "I think I've drilled it into her head pretty good. "

Meanwhile, managers say they've seen an increase in customer traffic over the past several days as they get ready to travel for Christmas. 

"Most of them want their air pressure checked their oil changed their fluids checked," said Mike Armitage, manager of Plaza Tire. 

He explained truly being road ready means you need to go an extra mile. 

Here are a few tips: 

  • Check tire pressure, tread depth, and alignment. 
  • Check your breaks.
  • Make sure you top off all fluids. 
  • Take a look at belts and everything under the hood. 

"We are the only business in the company with a state-of-the-art machine that measures your tread depth to tell you exactly how you need to go about maintenance," Armitage said. "It can really save your life. People often overlook that and tread depth that isn't up to par can cost you hundreds of feet when it comes to stopping on wet or icy pavement or a crowded roadway. If you have an accident or problem on the road that could be the worst thing that could happen to you when all the services are shut down."

Many mechanics offer free winter checks. Plaza Tire in Cape Girardeau offers free checks until noon on Christmas Eve. If you can't stop in at a mechanic facility they say at least check your fluids and stop to air up your tires and check pressure at a gas station. 

They say they see a lot of people come Monday with overheated cars, tire and transmission troubles right after a holiday trip that could have been avoided. 

Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved. 

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