How to avoid these 5 summer travel headaches

CINCINNATI -- More than 1.5 million Ohioans are expected to take to the roads Thursday in the first day of Fourth of July holiday travel period.

The American Automobile Association estimated that nearly 1.7 million Ohioans will be traveling for the holiday this year.

AAA believes that most will be traveling by car, with about 1.5 million driving to their destination.

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However, air travel is expected to increase too with more than 76,000 flying to their holiday destination -- a 2.5 percent increase.

The group urges drivers who are planning a long road trip to make sure their vehicles are road-ready.

Last year the group said it helped more than 2,500 Greater Cincinnati area drivers during the five-day holiday period.

AAA released some tips to help prevent or deal with common road trip issues:

Tire blowout:  Long drives in the summer heat is tough on tires, making it easier for road debris or improper inflation to lead to a blowout.

What to do: If you have a blowout, don't slam on the brakes. Keep a firm grip on the wheel, slow down and pull over at the first safe opportunity.

How to prevent it: Inspect your tires at least once a month for tread depth, proper inflation and damage from road debris.

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Overheating: If your coolant is low or contaminated, the radiator can't do its job and the engine can overheat.

What to do: Pull over, pop the hood and turn off the A/C and other accessories as the engine idles. Contact a tow service for transport to a repair facility. Never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot.

How to prevent it: Take your vehicle to a repair facility if coolant is low or contaminated.

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Dead battery:  The summer heat is bad for a lot of aspects of your vehicle. For instance, the heat can strain the battery and lead to a failure.

What to do: Get a jump-start and have the battery checked by a qualified technician.

How to prevent it: Have your battery and electrical system tested before taking a trip.

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Low engine oil: Letting your oil get low or too dirty can cause serious damage to the engine. Typically, a dashboard warning light will illuminate when a problem arises but before any damage is done.

What to do: If the warning light comes on, have the vehicle towed to a repair facility immediately to get it checked. The longer you drive with the problem, the more damage you risk to your engine.

How to prevent it: Before leaving on your trip, check the oil for proper levels and any sediment.

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Worn wipers:  When bad weather hits, worn or cracked wiper blades can prevent you from seeing clearly through the windshield, increasing eye strain, driver fatigue-and the possibility of an accident.

What to do: Replace wiper blades as soon as they begin skipping or streaking.

How to prevent it: Even if your wiper blades seem to be working fine, inspect them regularly for cracks, tears and brittleness.

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