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November 17, 2009

Car Care Tops List of Thanksgiving Preparations

AskPattylogoturkey As Americans get ready for Thanksgiving, car care tops the list of pre-holiday preparations, according to a survey conducted by the Car Care Council.

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

"Proper car care is important at all times, but is particularly critical during the busiest travel season of the year," said Rich White, spokesman for the Car Care Council. "Yet, despite good intentions, the majority of motorists do not always follow through. The 'Be Car Care Aware' education campaign was launched to encourage drivers to perform proper vehicle maintenance.

"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 White. "Yet, National Car Care Month vehicle inspections showed that nearly four out of five cars had one or more systems, products, or fluids that needed to be repaired or replaced."

With millions of Americans planning to travel by motor vehicle for the Thanksgiving holiday, it is important to act on good intentions and make sure cars are well-maintained to ensure vehicle safety and dependability and to avoid costly repairs.

As part of its 'Be Car Care Aware" campaign, the Council recommends the following pre-Thanksgiving tasks be performed by a do-it-yourselfer or professional auto technician:

  • Antifreeze-by-flickr.com_photos_evelynishere_3872534176 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.

Car-care-logo The Car Care Council is the source of information for the "Be Car Care Aware" campaign, educating consumers about the benefits of regular vehicle maintenance and repair. For more information visit

Creative Commons antifreeze photo by evelynishere at

Jody-devere_president_askpatty Jody DeVere
President and CEO

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