GETTING your vehicle ready for Labor Day holiday weekend

Wednesday, August 29th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Getting ready for Labor Day means making sure the car is ready to go. How do you know if it's ready? What do you do if it breaks down? News on Six reporter Emory Bryan says the vast majority of breakdowns have simple causes.

Tire blowouts for example usually happen because the tire is under inflated. It's a simple fix that could keep you moving this weekend. Bill Parsons sees his share of breakdowns. As the safety manager for Storey Wrecker service, he notices some common themes in the calls for a tow truck. "The biggest problem they have this time of year is overheating problems. With the high temperatures in the high 90 and the 100's and so forth it even affects fuel pumps.”

Checking the fluids is important, especially the radiator coolant and the oil levels. They’re most important in the summer, which also is the season of the most blowouts.” It’s hard on tires, I recommend they keep the air pressure up in their tires and every time they get of the vehicle for gas or whatever take a look at the tires to see if there is an excessive swelling or tread separation, things like that before they continue with their journey."

Checking the tires is important because so many are under inflated. The government reports 27% of cars and 32% of trucks and SUV's have a least one under inflated tire. "Under inflated tires on heat and asphalt, something is going to go wrong pretty soon, it builds up a lot more heat when it's under inflated." Another common cause behind a breakdown is a bad belt. "Definitely, check the belts for any cracks or looseness in the belts, that's one of the biggest things is that you throw a belt. Check the coolant levels and oil levels and so forth and so on.”

Now if the car breaks down, the first thing to do is make sure it's in a safe place, out of the lanes of traffic if possible. If it's in the way, call the Police to help out with traffic, and they'll call a tow truck.