Labor Day weekend travel—the good news and the bad news for drivers | | WPSD Local 6

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Have you been on the road this weekend?

AAA predicts Labor Day weekend travel will jump back up to pre-pandemic levels, just as it did for the Memorial Day and Independence Day holidays.

That includes those of you who decided to round out the summer with a road trip. 

From lower gas prices to dead batteries, we discovered this Labor Day weekend brought drivers perks but also potential problems. 







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“It’s been really busy,” Bryan Winkler said. Winkler and his family are passing through Kentucky from Georgia on the way to Branson. He’s happy to get away and also to find lower prices at the pump. 

“Here it’s about $3.39,” Winkler said. “At least it’s not $5. It is nicer. We even drove a smaller vehicle this week to kind of save on gas and cut every corner you can.” 







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Indeed, this year it seems people are out to cut every corner on costs. But AAA says you should not do that when it comes to car maintenance, especially at this time of the year. 

Over Labor Day weekend, AAA typically rescues 545,000 drivers nationwide, mostly for dead batteries and flat tires.

“The more mileage your vehicle gets the more mechanical stuff is going to go wrong with it,” said Hunter Knapp, assistant manager at Plaza Tire in Benton, KY. 

Knapp says as summer driving takes a toll on your car, it’s not just the distance to vacation destinations but also change in temperature and even the recent heat waves that can cause issues. 







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“When it gets really hot or when it gets really cold, that’s when we see the cell on a battery die,” Knapp said. 

Then there’s the toll on your tires. Knapp says a lot of travelers come in after hitting pot holes passing through larger cities. 

“We’ve seen cars come in from hitting a pot hole and that’s actually cracked rims,” he said. “I mean, it’ll knock your alignment out for sure.” 

After a weekend of rain, mechanics say that’s when people realize they need new tires. 

“They start sliding everywhere,” said mechanic Franky Perez. 

“Tires need to be replaced every five or six years,” Knapp said.







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If you still have to drive home from your destination, AAA suggestions leaving super early in the morning or late at night to avoid delays and traffic jams. That will also help you save money by cutting down on the gas you will burn by sitting in traffic. 

If you need car maintenance, don’t forget to get your belts checked, as well as the water pump, tires, fluids and batteries and that your spare is in top condition. 


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