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Experts recommend car inspection before summer road trips

by Staff

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Floridians are traveling in record numbers this Independence Day weekend. AAA predicts close to 2.5 million drivers will take a road trip over the long weekend. With all those people on the road, AAA also expects thousands of people to have car trouble. 

What You Need To Know

  • Nearly 2.5 million Floridians are expected to road trip over the holiday weekend, according to AAA
  • AAA says thousands of people will also experience car troubles, including flat tires, dead batteries and lockouts
  • Experts recommend getting a car inspection before a long trip and paying attention to any warning lights that come on

For Andrew Florio, fixing cars is more than a job – it’s a hobby. He’s been taking cars apart and making them new again for 15 years.

This time of year is especially busy for Florio at Mike’s Affordable Auto Repair in St. Pete, getting cars ready to summer road trips in the Florida heat. When it’s this hot outside, Florio sees one issue frequently. 

“Tires, big time,” Florio said. “Because when you get any quick snap of any low temperature to high temperature that can cause your tire light to come on and people freak out. You don’t always have a leak, it just needs to be checked.”

Across the country this weekend, AAA expects to help 370,000 drivers having car issues. The most common are flat tires, dead batters and people locking themselves out of their cars. To prevent yourself from getting into that situation, experts recommend getting a car inspection before a long trip and paying attention to any warning lights that might come on. 

“The best course of action is to pull off to a gas station or parking lot,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesperson for AAA. “But if you’re on a highway, pull off the road as far away from traffic as possible. You don’t want to be one of the hundreds of people who are killed in a roadside collision.”

Florio said it’s important to pay attention to your vehicle and it’s best to get repairs done as soon as possible, instead of pushing it off when it could become a more serious issue. 

“The main thing people always like to look at – or should be looking at – suspension-wise the brakes,” he said. “Of course, you always want to be able to stop a vehicle and then also make sure it’s running proper as well. If it’s running misfire or not running like it should you’re going to be spending a lot more money on gas.”

AAA also recommends having an emergency kit in your vehicle with items such as a flashlight, water and non-perishable snacks in case your car breaks down. Friday afternoon was the busiest travel day of the holiday weekend, according to AAA. If you’re still on the road, areas around airports, beaches and attractions tend to be the busiest mid-afternoon, so experts recommend getting on the road as soon as possible. 

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