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Tip for Insuring Your Car is Safe for Holiday Travel

By Kelly Balamuth on November 28, 2016

Over the holidays many of us will be traveling to visit friends and family. It is important to proactively make sure that your vehicle is in top working order so you arrive safely. The following is a summary of things to do:

Charging System

Check to be sure that you do not have any service indicator lights or warnings on the dash that may indicate charging or electrical concerns. Inspect the battery terminals and cables to be sure that they are securely in place and that there is no more than minimal corrosion buildup where the clamps are connected to each post. Remember to check that you have a set of jumper cables on-board for the trip also.

Cooling System

Confirm that you have had your radiator flushed within the time frame listed in the maintenance guide. Next, confirm that your coolant level is good. Inspect your radiator hoses for leaks by squeezing them lightly to see if there is any liquid or steam that appears.


Check to be sure that your oil level is proper and look beneath the vehicle for any evidence of an oil leak.


You should walk around the vehicle in order to test head light, tail lights, turn signals, brake lights etc. Inspect your wiper blades to be sure they are not excessively worn. Check you washer fluid levels to be sure it is near capacity and keep some extra washer fluid on-hand in the vehicle in case you suddenly beginning to run low. Don’t forget about the rear window washer fluid if your vehicle has a wiper equipped there. Inspect that all of your mirrors are intact and free of dirt or debris.


Visually inspect your vehicle’s tires for any excessive wear, as you should never travel on balding tires. Tire tread depth is measured in 32nds of an inch. New tires are usually at a depth of 10/32nds of an inch (about 1/3 of an inch). If you do not have access to a tool for measuring tread depth, simply use a penny. Insert a penny into the tread of the tire with President Lincoln’s head facing down. If are able to see the top of Lincoln’s head, then your tires are at 2/32nds of an inch or less. 4/32nds of an inch is the point where tire replacement is recommended. Also, check for any uneven tread wear which may indicate that your vehicle is out of alignment. Lastly, you must test the pressure of your tires. The pressure which is measured in PSI is listed on the side of the tire, after which you should inflate accordingly.

Have you or a family member or loved one been injured in an auto accident? The experienced legal team Balamuth Law has been representing car accident injury victims in Northern California for many years. Contact the office at (888) 254-1234 for a free case evaluation. We have offices in Moraga, Oakland and Walnut Creek for your convenience.

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Posted in: Auto Collision

Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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