(NAPSI)—This year, AAA predicts nearly 42 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles by car to visit family during the Thanksgiving holiday, and many will make similar journeys in December.

When you’re juggling road trips, holiday shopping and other seasonal activities, the last thing you want to worry about is your car.

John Latner, an ASE-certified master technician and technical training manager for ACDelco, shares five tips to ensure your car is ready for your holiday travel.

Batteries: The increasing number of electrical systems in today’s vehicles can tax your battery even in perfect weather conditions. Do a quick visual inspection to make sure your battery is securely mounted and the connections are clean, tight and corrosion-free. If your battery is more than three years old, it’s a good idea to have it tested.

Brakes: Properly functioning brakes are one of the most important safety systems on your vehicle, and stop-and-go traffic can put a lot of wear and tear on your calipers, pads and rotors. Latner recommends inspection by an ASE-certified technician at your dealer or independently owned facility at least yearly.

Coolant/Antifreeze/Wiper Blade Fluids: This is important all year, but especially so before particularly warm or cold seasonal driving conditions. Keep your washer fluid reservoir filled with the variety recommended in your owner’s manual.

Check the coolant level in your coolant reservoir (never open your radiator cap if your engine was recently running), and add a 50/50 mixture of the antifreeze recommended in your owner’s manual and distilled water if it needs to be topped off. If you notice consistent coolant loss, have your system tested for leaks by a technician.

Oil: Following the oil and filter change schedule for your vehicle can help you avoid costly engine issues. Most modern vehicles have oil life monitoring systems that “tell” you when a change is needed; for older vehicles, the typical factory-recommended oil change interval is 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Manually check your oil level per the instructions in your owner’s manual and watch for leaks under the vehicle that could signal a more serious problem.

Windshield Wipers: Latner recommends customers replace their wiper blades every six months or sooner if they notice increased streaking or damage to the blades. This is particularly important if you travel in snow, sleet or ice.

For additional car care tips, finding a local service center near you or to browse maintenance products for your vehicle, visit www.ACDelco.com.

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