According to AAA, 80 percent of Americans surveyed are planning road trips this year. But if something goes wrong with your car, would you know what to do?
With the help of a certified mechanic, TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen demonstrated how to deal with three of the most basic tasks a motorist can encounter: refilling windshield washer fluid, jump-starting a dead battery, and changing a flat tire.
To refill your windshield washer fluid:
1. Locate the windshield fluid cap under the hood of your car (look for the windshield symbol).
2. Open it, pour windshield wiper fluid in, and fill to the top.
To jump-start your battery:
1. Pop the hood of your car (feel for the latch in the middle of the hood and push it up or to the side to release it).
2. Put the red cable on the positive (+) side of the battery on the car that’s dead.
3. Put the other red cable on the positive (+) side of the battery on the good car.
4. Put the black cable on the negative (-) side of the battery on the good car.
5. Put the black cable on the negative (-) side of the battery on car that's dead. Some experts say connect the negative cable to an unpainted metal surface on the car to avoid sparks. Do not incorrectly cross the jumper cables or allow them to touch as this could injure you or cause damage to your car.
6. Turn on the good car.
7. Turn on the car that was dead and let it run for a few minutes.
8. Take the cables off, in the reverse order that you put them on.
To change a flat tire:
1. Loosen the lug nuts with the tire iron (Remember: "Righty tighty, lefty loosey.")
2. Find the jack point in your owner’s manual and jack up your car so tire is just off the ground.
3. Remove the lug nuts and take off the flat tire.
4. Put the new tire on, lower the car and replace the lug nuts.
Experts suggest practicing these procedures at home (and consulting your owner's manual) so you'll know what to do if anything goes wrong on the road. Some local repair shops even offer workshops so you can feel confident doing these things yourself.