Be Thankful for a Safe Trip

This time of year finds everyone busy preparing for holiday celebrations, shopping for Thanksgiving Road Tripgifts, and making plans for holiday travel. Odds are you are not thinking about your car. But you should be.

When Thanksgiving Day arrives, we imagine we’ll be sitting around the dinner table with loved ones, enjoying great food, sharing memories, and reflecting on all those things that make us truly thankful. You sip a glass of wine or a cup of coffee, nibble on a few more bites of pumpkin pie, and settle into that warm, cozy, holiday feeling.

But what if Thanksgiving Day comes and you hop into a car that has been woefully neglected for maintenance service? You may end up sitting in a cold, dead car, digging through seat pockets for something to eat while waiting for a tow truck to arrive. You sip a half empty water bottle, nibble on a few more bites of stale saltine crackers, and settle into that awful, regretful, why-didn’t-I-get-an-oil-change feeling.

If a road trip is in your plans this year, make sure it is a safe trip. Now is the time to get your vehicle in for a pre-trip service check!

Be Thankful You Had an Oil Change
Putting off an oil change can cause significant damage to your engine. Be sure to follow the recommended oil change schedule as described in your owner’s manual. For fall and winter, ask your service technician to recommend the best oil to use for the season. Since cold temperatures cause motor oil to thicken, your tech may suggest a different weight for the season.

Be Thankful You Had a Tire Check
Tires are one of the most critical safety features on your vehicle. Drivers should do a monthly check of the air pressure and tread depth of tires. Always be on the lookout for nails, cuts, bulges, and signs of unusual tread wear. Be sure to have a professional inspect your tires at least once a year and also follow the recommended schedule for wheel alignment and tire rotation.

Be Thankful You Had a Battery Check
Extreme weather, including cold temperatures, can degrade car batteries internally and can accelerate the rate of corrosion on battery terminals. This can lead to insufficient electrical power and the risk of being stranded. Your service technician will check the battery charge and clean the cables if there are signs of corrosion. They will also ensure cables are securely attached to the terminals.

Be Thankful You Had a Fluid Check
In order to perform at its best, your car needs several fluids in fresh and adequate supply. Your service technician will check:
Brake fluid
Coolant
Power steering fluid
Transmission fluid
Windshield washer fluid

Cold weather has an impact on your vehicle’s fluids. Maintaining the proper levels is essential in assuring dependable performance and a safe trip.
It doesn’t take long to get a routine service check, so be sure to make a little time to get these services done. You will be thankful you did!