01182018Thu
Last updateFri, 12 Jan 2018 11am

Taking that long drive north? How to make it less challenging

Snowbirds are taking wing, returning to northern climes as temperatures here climb.

Motorists among them should be aware of some must-do preparations when planning any long drive. 

Get a mechanic you trust to check your vehicle before you set out. Today’s vehicles chirp, burble, whistle and talk to you, but those conveniences tax the mechanical and electrical systems in ways mysterious to most drivers.

Things you can do yourself are fairly basic — and thus important:

* Tires: always critical. Check them for wear and tear, not only the treads, but the tire walls, where heat, use and age create cracks. Make sure you have a normal highway-grade tire as a spare — and that it’s full of air.

* Make sure your jack works easily. Check the tools to change tires: lug wrench, a tool to take off hubcaps, a one-foot piece of 3x6-inch plank on which to set the jack for changing tires on an uneven surface.

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