How to make sure your Memorial Day trip isn't interrupted by car trouble

CINCINNATI -- Families across the country will be embarking on their first road trips of the year on Memorial Day weekend, and the American Automobile Association is bracing for an accompanying wave of calls for emergency service.

How many? Think around 6,000 in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky alone, according to AAA district director Troy Cox.

"They believe it will be the highest since about 2005," Cox said.

Cox said AAA employees will be ready and waiting to help drivers who run into trouble over the weekend, but he knows most of us would prefer never to need that help. 

Here are his tips for ensuring your Memorial Day trip doesn't include a pit stop at the mechanic.

  • Give your battery a checkup. "Extreme cold weather and extreme cold weather are both very tough on batteries," Cox said. After the winter we've had, your car battery could be in rough shape.
  • Check your tires, too. Not just for pressure, but for wear, too. Every tire has a bump between the treads called a tread-wear indicator. If that bump is making contact with the road, your tires have been worn down and need to be replaced.
  • Keep an extra set of keys around. "Hide them underneath the car, (put them) in the gas cap or give them to your significant other to make sure they have an extra key," Cox said. That way, even if you lose your primary set of keys or lock them inside the car, you'll be good to keep going.

If you don't know how to do any of this by yourself, don't worry. AAA/Bob Sumerel and other local shops can give your car a checkup for free.

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