About 46 million people will be on the roads for the holidays by the end of the year, according to the AAA. That's up 4 percent over last year. The take-home message, though, is that petroleum prices will be about 46 cents lower per gallon than last year. That's a seasonal low five years in the running.
You may even be able to spend more on other Christmas items, but experts say higher retail prices could offset any spending gains. Nevertheless, you will have the option to drive more on your fuel budget than you might have thought. If nothing else, that could cut down your stress so you can visit loved ones freely.
If you will be driving at all, however, the mechanics at Christian Brothers in Fort Mill, SC recommend performing a seasonal auto checkup soon. With more traveling, your risk of having to cope with stuff like snowy conditions goes up, making this especially important.
If you stop in, we will assist with the following:
- Check the battery and alternator
- Doublecheck the braking system
- Check for dangerous CO2 leaks
- Test the thermostat and heater
- Check your car's schedule for things such as spark plug replacement and do it early
- Check the tires
- Switch to “winter weight” oil and do an oil change
- Check the headlamps for winter driving
- Clean and flush the engine cooling and antifreeze systems
There are also steps that you should probably perform on your own, including stocking the car with food, warm clothes and scrapers. one more tip: never run on an empty tank to keep the fuel lines from freezing and cracking.