Labor Day weekend travel is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels, according to AAA. With so many stories about airline flights being cancelled and delayed, some people are opting to drive and take Labor Day road trips. Although gas prices remain higher than last year, so is travel demand.

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For many people, driving is the most comfortable, most affordable way to travel. That’s why your Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals (NARPRO) are available to discuss ways to ensure a smooth, safe ride during your Labor Day road trips.

Road Trip Checklist

Check fluids, wipers, hoses and belts: Make sure engine oil, brake, transmission and power steering fluids are at safe levels.

Check wipers, belts and hoses: Rubber windshield wiper blades deteriorate faster in the dry heat. Inspect and replace any cracked or brittle belts and hoses. 

Check battery: Heat evaporates battery fluids, which can speed up corrosion. 

Check air conditioning: If it’s running a little warm, you might be low in refrigerant or have a loose drive belt. It could also be clogged valves or filters, slow leads in components or hoses or clogs in the condenser.

Check tires: According to the Rubber Manufacturers Association, 85 percent of drivers don’t know how to properly inflate their tires. Check pressure when the car has been idle and tires are cool and use the manufacturer’s recommended pressure, typically found on the driver side doorjamb. Inspect tires for cuts and sidewall bulges and inspect tread. The minimum acceptable tread depth is 3/32 inch, which is about the distance from the edge of a penny to the top of Lincoln’s head.

Check turn signals, headlights, and brake lights to ensure they’re clean and working.

Must carry items in case of breakdown:

• Charged cell phone

• First-aid kit

• Fire extinguisher

• Reflective warning triangles

• Foam tire sealant

• Jumper cables

• Flashlight and batteries

• Duct tape

• Gloves and rags

• Water and snacks

• Umbrella (for shade and rain)

The Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals (NARPRO) helps car owners find skilled and honest car repair shops. NARPRO only recommends independent, family-owned, full-service auto repair shops that have passed 26 rigorous tests. Visit to find recommended shops near work or home. NARPRO is the easiest way to find an honest mechanic in the Valley.