HOUSTON - Nine out of 10 travelers are expected to drive to their destination this Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA.
It's a good idea to make sure your vehicle is ready for a long drive, especially if it's been sitting idle.
One of the first things you want to do is check your tire tread for wear, nails, or bulges. And check the tire pressure. A sticker inside the door will tell you the proper amount of air pressure for your tires.
"It's always important to have the right tire pressure. A tire with less air can restrict the movement of the vehicle and increases the gas mileage as well," said Jason Shastri, owner of the Mr. Transmission/Milex in Stafford.
He says drivers are getting their cars road-trip-ready. He says to check all the fluids, not just the oil. Check the transmission, power steering, and brake fluids, as well as the coolant so the car doesn't overheat.
"There's pre-mixed coolants and concentrated, so again you want to make sure you're using the right kind of coolant for the vehicle as well," said Shastri.
Most car batteries last four to five years. You can test a battery to make sure it's still good, and look to see if it's corroded.
"You don't want it to have any oxidation on the terminals. Oxidation causes a loss of power to the battery and limits the lifespan of the battery," he said.
Change the air filter every year or 15,000 miles.
"You want to make sure the air filter is clean. If it's not clean, you can always try cleaning it. If it's still dirty, we recommend replacing it," said Shastri.
And remember when you load a vehicle with several people and their luggage, the weight can strain the suspension system -- the springs, shock absorbers, and struts. If they're worn out, it reduces driver control.
And make sure the brakes are working well.
"A lot of times when you're driving your car and you press on your breaks and feel a jiggle or noise, you have uneven pads or the rotors on your vehicle are bad," explained Shastri.
Extra weight in the car can also make it burn more gas. So take out anything you don't need to improve your fuel efficiency.