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 Five Crucial Car Maintenance Tips for Holiday Travel

Five Crucial Car Maintenance Tips for Holiday Travel

Is your car running properly? If you are planning to use it to visit relatives for the holidays, then it is probably a good idea to get a checkup. There are so many things to worry about this holiday season; quarantining, masks, sanitization… Your car may be the last thing on your holiday prep list, but it should be one of the first.

A vehicle that’s running rough or burning oil may not be able to make the trip you have planned. Instead of winding up stranded or having to deal with an expensive holiday repair bill, getting holiday car maintenance taken care of beforehand can help. Here are a few things you may want to look into before your trip:

1.     Windshield Wipers

Many people forget about their wiper blades until smears and smudges make it hard to see out of the windshield. A long trip to a relative’s house during the holidays is a bad time to make this discovery. If you cannot see properly through your windshield during inclement weather, you are increasing the possibility of a crash. Be sure your wipers are ready for whatever weather mother nature can throw at you.

2.     Gas Consumption

Be sure your car has a full tank of gas when you head out on that holiday trip. Running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere will definitely make your holiday more stressful. But you should also make sure your engine is running correctly as well. If you notice shuddering, smoke or excessive noises coming from your engine, get it checked before you get on the road. Engines that don’t run properly often consume gas faster and can leave you stranded. It could also be more difficult for roadside services like AAA to reach you due to the increased number of people on the road. If you find yourself low on gas while on your trip, consider using apps like Waze, GasBuddy and Gas Guru. These apps can help you find fuel nearby and can even locate cheaper gas prices based on your location.

3.     Tire Check

You should always check your tires before long trips, and this is especially true during holiday travels. A tire that’s overinflated or underinflated can wear unevenly. In some cases, excessive wear from tires that are not properly inflated can cause a blowout. You should also keep an eye out for excessive tread wear. A bald tire could result in a loss of traction, which could cause you to crash.

4.     Brake Check

Make sure your brakes are in good shape by checking your brake pads and rotors. If your rotor spins unevenly or has a gouge in it, then you may have a brake issue that could put your family at risk during your trip. Have an experienced auto technician take a good look at your brakes to make sure they will work when you need them.

5.     Weight Limit

How much luggage are you bringing along on your holiday getaway? Will your vehicle be overloaded if you take all that stuff? If your car has been especially springy or bottoms out on bumpy roads, then it’s probably not ready for that extra weight. Get your suspension checked to make sure your car can handle the load. You should also check the load capacity on your vehicle. You can check your owner’s manual or the placard inside your driver’s side door jamb to find the weight limit.

When it comes to visiting family and friends, the holidays are the busiest time of the year. Make sure you get to where you’re going safely by visiting Kirberg Motors. Our technicians can inspect your car to see if it is roadworthy. Call us at (650)591-8998 to make an appointment or fill out the form on our website.


  • Having your car’s oil changed was the most important thing here. As you mentioned, changing the oil has some really good benefits like keeping the engine operating smoothly, keeping the combustion chamber cool, and keeping the varnishes and carbon from building up in the engine. My son is thinking about buying his first car, and so I think that it would be really important for him to know how to maintain it. Thanks again for the help, and I will tell him to get his oil changed every couple months!

  • These are the best tips for me.

  • I wanted to thank you for going over some maintenance tips for cars. It’s good to know that you should make sure that if you are hearing excessive noises from your engine, you should check it out. I’m interested to learn if these noises could be heard from within the car or if you need to stand outside and listen for them.

  • As a car owner it is our first and foremost duty to keep our car in good condition. For this we have to refer to the owner’s manual. According to owner’s manual,we have to maintain our vehicle. First we have to check the engine oil and then change it when required. We should also check the tire pressure of our car. Coolant is important liquid which helps to cool the engine. So we should check the amount of coolant and and if necessary top it off. Battery must be tested with the help of a battery tester.

  • With my car, I know that I need to do a few of the things that you listed here. I am planning on going on a trip so I’ll for sure need to get the brakes looked at. As you said, they should be in good shape as you wouldn’t want to have some kind of accident while out of town.

  • I like how you mention that preparing your car for the holidays should be done in advance since getting everything together on the night before you’re supposed to leave the following morning. At the same time, make sure you top up on your gas tank since it would be terrible if you run out of gas during the middle of driving on your trip, so always check that fuel tank! If I had to choose, I would always make sure to check not just the full tank, but the spare tire as well.

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