Get your car a check-up ahead of your Fourth of July roadtrip

(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Bags are being packed and the gas tanks are being filled. Now, millions are preparing to hit the road if they haven't already.

A record-breaking number of Americans will be traveling across the country to celebrate Independence Day.

"We are projecting that 43 million Americans are going to be traveling this holiday season," said Tamra Johnson with AAA.

Eighty-four percent of travelers will be driving - that's 36 million people.

But there's something simple every driver should do before they hit the road.

A simple check up for your car will make sure just the fireworks go boom and not your car's engine.

The mechanics at Christian Brothers Automotive say a quick inspection of your car can also provide peace of mind.

"An oil change is cheap insurance before you head out of town," said Jimbo Skelly, Service Manager at Christian Brothers Automotive. "Very important -  make sure the coolant is topped off. The vehicle needs its coolant as well as we need our fluids."

Those fluids are especially important since your car will be doing more work.

"On vacation, you have several other people in the car in addition to your luggage, so you're adding extra weight and making the car work harder. So it's always important to make sure everything is good to go with the extra stress being put on the car," Skelly said.

It's not just the internals of your car that need checked.

It's important to make sure your tires are ready to go the distance as well.

"Your tire pressure is very important. An under inflated tire puts undue stress on  the tires and combined with the heat we have right now, that's also a big factor," Skelly said. "You want to maintain your tire pressure. It effects your gas mileage directly."

And your dollar will get more mileage at the pump this year.

Fourth of July gas prices are the lowest they've been in 11 years and 42 cents cheaper than last year.

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