Lower Fuel Costs and Winter Car Readiness

Luck is on your side if you're going to drive as part of your holiday celebrations! As you may have noticed, fuel costs have fallen in the last week or so, and economists believe they will stay that way throughout the holiday season.

About 46 million travelers will be on the roads for the holidays by the end of the year, according to figures released by the AAA. That's up 4 percent over 2013. The take-home message, though, is that fuel costs will be about 46 cents less per gallon than in 2013. Prices haven't been any lower since 2009.

You could even get to spend more on other Christmas items, but finance experts think that higher retail costs could offset any spending gains. Regardless, you will have the option to drive more on your gas budget than you probably expected. If nothing else, that could take the stress off so you can meet up with family and friends freely.

If you're traveling at all, though, the car care experts at Christian Brothers in Collierville, TN recommend performing a holiday driving auto checkup first. The more you drive, your risk of dealing with icy weather and storms goes up, making this especially important.

If you stop in, we would be happy to assist with the following recommendations by the Car Care Council:

  • Clean and flush the antifreeze and cooling systems
  • Check the headlamps for winter driving conditions
  • Get “winter weight” oil
  • Kick those tires and check tread
  • Make sure you're on schedule for spark plugs
  • Test the thermostat and heater
  • Test for dangerous carbon monoxide
  • Test the brakes
  • Check the battery and charging system

There are also steps that you should take by yourself, including stocking the car with emergency food, clothing and tools. We also recommend that you never let your fuel get too low to prevent frozen fuel lines.