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November 01, 2010

Make Time to Prepare for Holiday Road Trips

Motor Oil Matters You know your car should be checked out before hitting the road for the holidays. Making the time to get that done may seem impossible with busy schedules and the extra demands of the holiday season. However it may be only a matter of 10 minutes, says the Car Care Council!

The 10-minute pre-trip checkup recommended by and the Car Care Council includes the following:

  • Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering and brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.

Need oil change? Your choice of motor oil matters, so be sure to purchase a quality motor oil and minimize the potential of an engine-oil-related failure – it’s inexpensive “peace of mind,” especially when adventuring on a long trip. Quality oils – like Pennzoil, Quaker State, and Formula Shell – back up the performance of their products with a 300,000-mile engine warranty, so be sure to ask for the correct motor oil by name and grade.

  • Check the hoses and belts that can become cracked, brittle, frayed, and loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.

  • Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.

In a quick 10 minutes you can insure a fun, safe and fuel efficient holiday road trip!

Additional Holiday Travel Tips:

Always check your vehicle owner’s manual for your recommended maintenance intervals. Change the wipers: Harsh winter weather driving conditions are common in some areas, so ensure your wiper blades are fresh! If it’s nearing time for a scheduled maintenance your vehicle, it’s best to perform the work before you hit the road.

Slow down and watch your speed: Drive 55 mph instead of 65 to save fuel. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates a 10 to 15 percent improvement in fuel economy by following this tip. Use your cruise control to keep a constant speed: Pumping the accelerator sends more fuel into the engine so you will conserve fuel if you maintain a consistent speed.

Plan your route and keep informed of current weather conditions. A great source of information is to call the Department of Transportation road condition hotline at 800.427.7623 and consult them every few hours while you’re on the road.

Take a well stocked first aid kit, extra sweaters and a blanket along with your emergency road side safety kit. Include an ice scraper and brush, cat litter (for use as a traction aid), a good flashlight and a can of lock de-icer if you plan to drive in icy or snowy conditions.

Motor Oil Matters:

You can visit to learn more about the difference in motor oils. The web site has been designed to provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision when it comes to motor oil and your vehicle. Test your motor oil knowledge with our interactive quiz or visit the tips and advice section for quick answers on the most commonly asked questions and most popular motor oil myths.

Being well-prepared for your holiday road trip by planning ahead for the needs of your family and your vehicle!

Jody DeVere President & CEO
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