Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Make Sure Your Car is Ready for Holiday Travel Before You Hit the Road

According to a survey conducted by the Car Care Council, car care tops the list of pre-holiday preparations.

Both men and women said they were more likely to make sure the car that took them to Thanksgiving dinner was prepared for the trip (66 percent) than they were to iron tablecloths (18 percent) or polish silver (12 percent) in advance of the holiday meal.

"Our survey found that 86 percent of drivers believe regular car maintenance is extremely important for their own and their passengers’ safety and 85 percent of drivers cite dependability as a highly important characteristic for the vehicles they drive," said Rich White, spokesman for the Car Care Council.

As part of the "Be Car Care Aware" campaign, the Council recommends the following pre-holiday tasks for your vehicle:
  • Check the coolant (antifreeze); coolant should be flushed and refilled every two years in most vehicles.
  • Check the owner’s manual to see if your driving habits are considered “severe,” and if so, have the oil changed accordingly, usually every 3,000 miles; consider changing to a “winter weight: oil if you live in a cold climate.
  • Check the battery and exhaust system.
  • Be certain the heater and defroster are working properly.
  • Keep the gas tank at least half full, decreasing the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing.
  • Check tire tread depth and tread pressure; consider special tires if snow and ice are a problem in your area.
  • Check to see that lights work and headlights are properly aimed.
  • Replace wiper blades every six months; consider special now blades if the weather dictates.
  • Be prepared for an emergency with the following items in your trunk: ice scraper, windshield de-icer, flashlight, whisk broom, blanket, extra clothes, candle/matches, bottled water, snacks, necessary medications and a first-aid fit.
For more information, visit the Car Care Council website at: www.carcare.org.

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