According to AAA, 48.7 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles this Thanksgiving holiday. With so many cars travelling so many miles we’re bound to see a spike in breakdowns.

With that said, does your car have the stamina to make it through the holiday season without breaking down? If not, you may want to take some time to give it a health check.

Just as you take preventative steps to maintain your own health, apply the same thinking to your vehicle’s wellbeing. You may just prevent a costly breakdown.

Here are our top four tips to help you protect the health of your vehicle:

1.    Engine oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle

The engine of your vehicle is the heart that keeps it moving. Just like how your heart pushes blood throughout the rest of the body, the engine pushes the oil through the moving parts of the vehicle keeping it properly lubricated.

Sadly, just as your heart can get clogged if it’s not maintained, so can your engine.  Without regularly changing engine oil, you risk unnecessary early wear leading to expensive repairs.

2.    Keep an eye on the air filter

Air filters act like your respiratory system. They allow fresh air to move throughout the vehicle while removing dust and dirt.

Just as your body needs oxygen to live, your vehicle needs air to run efficiently. Effective maintenance can reduce the chances of air filters becoming clogged. If not, your vehicle’s performance will decrease and eventually it could stop running altogether.

In order to inspect your air filter, start by reviewing the owner’s manual to find its exact location. Here you will also find the estimated mileage for when you should replace your filter. Once located, remove the filter to inspect it.  If you see that it is dirty, it may be time to replace it.

3.    Is your vehicle aligned correctly?

Think of the alignment of your vehicle as its spine. If it’s not properly in line, the posture and movement of the vehicle can be negatively impacted.

This means your vehicle will not handle and turn effectively. Not only is this dangerous, it can affect the wear of your tires, leading to an early and expensive tire change.

4.    Regularly check your fluids

Keeping an eye on your engine coolant, and brake and power steering fluids will help you to avoid costly repairs later on in the life of your car.

These fluids are important in the everyday running of your vehicle, but unfortunately they do not last forever. By regularly checking and refilling fluids, you are able to make sure your vehicle is always running at full strength.

Staying on top of repairs and conducting regular upkeep is the best way to keep your vehicle in top shape. So before you head out this holiday weekend, give your car a physical and avoid the woes of a roadside Thanksgiving dinner.