2220 108th Lane NE
Blaine, MN

SERVICE GARAGE:  763-792-4949



It’s that time of year again. The holidays and Thanksgiving are coming up, and you might be starting to think about your travel plans. With COVID-19,many people are considering driving instead of flying this year for Thanksgiving. Before hitting the road, there are a few things you need to do to prepare your car for the long journey ahead.

1. Listen to the brakes before Thanksgiving traveling

Anytime your brakes make strange noises, you should probably get them checked out. Oftentimes, these noises mean that you need your brake pads replaced. Your brake pads supply the necessary friction to stop your car. Over time, these wear out and need replacing. Brake pads usually last anywhere from 25,000 to 70,000 miles, depending on their material. It’s essential to take care of your brakes before hitting the road for Thanksgiving.

  2. Fluids and filters

Before leaving, you also need to make sure your oil has been changed recently. If you’re not keeping up with this and you haven’t changed it in the last 3,000 miles or so, get this done before your trip. Additionally, top off any low fluids. This includes antifreeze, power steering fluid, brake fluid, windshield wiper fluid, and transmission fluid.

If your filters haven’t been replaced recently, you’ll want to look into this as well. The cabin filter and the air filter in your engine affect engine performance, fuel economy, and air quality. New filters need to be put in each year.

3. Inspect the belts and hoses

Open your hood and examine your belts and hoses. When you push down on the belts, they shouldn’t have much give. If they seem slack, or if any teeth come loose, then you have an issue. Inspect the hoses for fraying or cracks, and be on the lookout for fluid leaks. Any of these problems require immediate attention, especially before you leave for the holidays.

4. Check the battery

Examine your battery. It should be corrosion-free and connected properly. If your battery is over 2 years old, it should be inspected annually. They typically last around 3 to 5 years, so you definitely want to take a look at it before heading out.

5. Inspect your tires before driving this Thanksgiving

If you’re taking a long car trip, good gas mileage is a must. That’s why the air pressure of your tires is so important. Underinflated tires cause you to waste gas. On the flipside, overinflated tires affect your ride quality. Having the wrong air pressure will undoubtedly shorten your tires’ lifespan. Make sure to check your tires before leaving, and again for every 1,000 miles you drive.

Additionally, your tires need to be rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. This will help increase their lifespan since they wear down at different rates. Tires typically last for 25,000 to 50,000 miles. If you’re planning a long trip and your tires are somewhere in this range, it might be a good idea to replace them before leaving.

6. Check the electrical

Make sure all lighting is functioning properly before you leave. This includes the blinkers, taillights, and headlights. If you have a motorhome or a truck, inspect the electrical here as well.

Take care of your vehicle ahead of time, and it’ll be sure to take care of you while you’re traveling. It’s a good idea to bring your car in for an inspection a week before you plan to leave. That way, you’ll have time to address any major issues without delaying your trip.

Do you need a pre-travel inspection? Our experienced technicians at Service Garage of Blaine are here for you. Give us a call at (763) 792-4949 to schedule your appointment today.