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Check these 5 things on your car before travel

Whether you're going cross town or cross country, keep your holiday travel safe with these safety tips.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With millions of Americans traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, here are five things to check on your car or vehicle before you hit the road.

Tires

Tires are most important. Make sure you or a trusted mechanic inspect them all. Don't forget to check your car's spare tire - and be sure to have a jack handy for any repairs.

Check tread depth and tire pressure. Tire pressure can be lower in the cooler months because cold air is less dense than warm air.

Battery

If your car hesitates or cranks slowly when you power it up, it could be time for a new battery. Car batteries on their last leg will often die quicker in cooler weather.

Brakes

Listen to your brakes. Do you hear grinding? Feel the resistances on your brake pedal? Do you have to push the pedal further than usual to stop? If so, your car needs to be serviced.

Fluids

Top off all fluid including engine oil, coolant, brake, transmission, and power steering fluid.

Windshield wipers

Replace wiper blades and fluid too. Clean windows will increase visibility and reduce harmful light reflections.

 🌩️ If you like weather, join Brad Panovich and the WCNC Charlotte First Warn Weather Team on their YouTube channel, Weather IQ. 🎥

Other things to remember

Don’t forget to have an emergency kit in case you break down. AAA recommends a flashlight and batteries, a cell phone charger, a first aid kit, drinking water, and non-perishable snacks. If you'll be traveling through cold weather, keep an extra blanket per person in your car.

In case of trouble, pull off in a safe place, turn on emergency flashers, call roadside assistance, and stay with your vehicle unless there’s a safety concern.

Contact Brittany Van Voorhees at bvanvoorhe@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.