Low Fuel Costs and Wintertime

Fortune is favoring you if you're going to hit the road for the holidays this year! Fuel prices have because global oil prices are lower, and it is likely to continue through the holidays.

Nearly 46 million people will be in cars for holiday travel by the end of 2014, according to the AAA. That's an increase of more than 4 percent over the 2013 holiday season. The take-home message, though, is that gas prices will be an average of 46 cents less per gallon than in 2013. We haven't seen the likes of it for five years.

You might even be able to spend more on other Christmas items, but finance experts say higher retail prices could offset any spending gains. Nevertheless, you can still travel more on your gas budget than you planned.

If you will be driving at all, however, the car care experts at Christian Brothers recommend getting a seasonal auto checkup first. With more traveling, your chances of running into things such as snowy conditions increases, making this particularly important.

If you stop in, we can help with the following recommendations by the Car Care Council:

  • Clean and flush the engine cooling and antifreeze systems
  • Test and re-aim lights for winter driving conditions
  • Get an oil change
  • Kick those tires and check tread
  • Check your car's recommended schedule for stuff like spark plug replacement
  • Make sure the heater and your car's engine thermostat are working properly
  • Test for risky CO2
  • Test the braking system
  • Check the alternator, starter and battery

Also, be sure to take steps like stocking the car with food, warm clothes and scrapers. Finally, our techs say you should never run on an empty tank to keep the fuel lines from freezing and cracking.