Monthly Archives: November 2021

Tips for Road Tripping This Thanksgiving


There is nothing like the feeling of being with family and friends during Thanksgiving.  Getting together after being apart for a long time is truly a joyous occasion.  Traveling during a holiday can often times be stressful.   The below tips will help to make sure you are prepared for your road trip and can enjoy this special time of year.

Prep Your Car

Before you hit the road for any long trip, you want to make sure your vehicle is in good working condition.  You will also want to make sure that your spare tire is properly inflated and that the jack and tools you may need are there if you have a flat tire on the vehicle.  Check to make sure your windshield wiper blades are properly functioning so that if you encounter rain, you will be able to drive safely.  We offer our Cruising with Confidence 53 Vehicle Inspection that will cover all this and more.  You should also have your oil changed (unless you have done so recently), top off all your fluids, and rotate your tires so you’re road-ready.  Checking your cabin air filter should also be done to make sure the air in your car is clean.  If your family is blessed with little ones you will also want to make sure your car seats are properly installed.  If you are not sure how to install a car seat, come by the shop and we will be happy to check that for you. 

Leave Early to Beat Traffic 

Traffic will be heaviest the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the entire weekend after.  If you can, try to leave earlier in the week and return after the weekend to beat the travel rush.  If that is not possible, leaving early in the morning is the next best thing.  Map your route and research alternate routes in case of accidents and road closures.  Make sure to check the weather forecast before you leave, especially if you will be traveling in a mountain region.  Weather in the mountains can be very unpredictable, you should be prepared for any inclement weather including chains.  If your trip will be a long one, plan your stops before you leave so you know when and where you will be stopping along the way. 

Pack Snacks

Make your trip a little easier by packing some snacks that are easy to eat in the car such as trail mix, small fruit, crackers, protein bars and cut veggies. Staying hydrated while you’re on the road is important as well.  Make sure you pack plenty of water. 

Pack Your Entertainment

Start prepping your entertainment for when your plans are finalized. Whether you’re spending 20 minutes or 20 hours in the car, you can still have a good time with it if you have the right entertainment. Fill a bag with your favorite games and books and update your music playlist with your favorite tunes. If you forget your entertainment at home, or don’t have room in your car for an extra bag you can always enjoy a good old-fashioned game of I Spy, the License Plate Game, or Name the Artist to pass the time.

Emergency Kit

If your vehicle doesn’t have an emergency kit, now is the time to purchase one for your vehicle. A good emergency kit has blankets, road flares, a basic first aid kit, bottles of water, a flashlight, batteries and some non-perishable items. Make sure your vehicle is stocked with the necessities that may come in handy during an emergency. It’s not always fun to plan for the unexpected, but if something does happen, you’ll be happy you were prepared.

Don’t Forget to Move

Long hours behind the wheel can take its toll on your body, especially if you don’t take time to stop and stretch periodically. It can be tempting to make good time and drive straight to your destination, but try to refrain. If you remembered to plan your route to include stops, make sure you take frequent breaks to move about and keep blood circulating, which can keep you awake and focused.  If you are traveling with pets they will need to get out and stretch or relieve themselves too.   Familiarize yourself with rest stops that have pet areas on your route.

Ways to Increase Your Gas Mileage

With the price of gas soaring, it is important to make every gallon of gas last as long as possible.  Here are some tips to help you stretch your gas dollar.

1. Drive Smart

Speeding, braking, and rapid acceleration waste gas so does driving above 50 miles per hour.  Driving sensibly and not like a race car driver can significantly decrease the amount of fuel that you use.

2. Check the Tires

Tires can lose about 2 pounds per square inch (psi) per month on average.  When the temperature drops outside the air pressure in your tires will drop with it.   Each tire that is under inflated by 10 psi reduces fuel economy by about 3.3%. Four tires that are under inflated by 10 psi, then, would reduce a vehicle's fuel economy by a substantial 10%.   Tires that are not aligned properly create drag instead of rolling freely. This can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 10%.  In addition, the tires will wear out more quickly.  Tires that are out of balance can also cause tire wear which will result in lower gas mileage as well.  Tires should be balanced and rotated according to the manufacturer’s recommendation.

3. Maintain your Fuel System 

Fill Your Tank Early in the Morning or Late at Night

Fuel is dispensed by volume. If you fill your tank when it is coolest outside—early in the morning or late at night and avoid the heat of the day—the fuel will be denser. As a result, you will get more gas for the same amount of money.  

Replace your Air Filter

Your engine sucks in 14 million gallons of air through the filter every year. On older vehicles (pre-1999) a dirty air filter increases fuel usage by almost 10 percent ($350 per year, or 35¢ per gallon). On newer vehicles, the computer is smart enough to detect the lower airflow, and it cuts back on fuel. So your engine will lack power and pick-up. Check the filter when you change your oil and replace it at least once a year, or more if you drive in dirty, dusty conditions.

Clean your Fuel System

Over time debris and carbon can build up in your fuel injection system and clog or restrict fuel distribution. If you notice a rough feel when the vehicle is idling, decreased gas mileage, or poor performance it may be a sign that your injectors need to be cleaned.

We are happy to check your vehicle to make sure that you are getting the best mileage possible.  Schedule your appointment today to start saving at the pump as soon as possible!

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