I drive a lot. Like, a lot a lot. I’ve put about 100,000 miles on my “mom car” since I bought her 4 years ago.
I thought that once I became a work at home mom that I’d be cutting down on mileage but that has not been the case at all. Like I said, I drive a lot. We drive to and from dance and soccer, shopping trips and doctors appointments, on Fridays we drive to one end of the state for ski lessons, then up to Massachusetts for swim, then home again (that’s 73.5 miles for those keeping track!) We also make quite a few trips to visit friends and family back home in New York (about 340 miles, round trip) Add in our many random road trips around New England, trips to Florida, and car-nap drives…I rack up the miles on my purple Ford Edge!
Because I need this car to last a bit longer (at least another year) I need to take good care of her! My father taught me the importance of routine vehicle maintenance. I remember many lessons on tire and oil changes, monitoring your car’s fluids, which sounds are normal and which are not, how to find the correct oil and air filter and how to replace them, and everything in between. Even now, he is always asking if I have enough wiper fluid, checking tire pressure, asking how much gas I have in the tank and checking my oil!
My dad is a vehicle maintenance guru.
He always changed the oil in our cars and I often helped him. I believed that, as an adult, I’d always change the oil in my own cars as well. The thing is, now that I am an adult with my own car…I don’t really want to change the oil myself. I’d rather have someone else do it. Don’t get me wrong, I know it is incredibly easy to do, but lots of miles = lots of oil changes, and I don’t want to shimmy under my car in the dead of winter or in the sweltering heat of summer, or the muddy spring.
So, I’ll just pay someone else to do it!
But where? Have you ever sat in the waiting area of a car dealership service center, or “quick” oil change joint with a toddler? Let me tell you, it is not fun. Fortunately, we have a Walmart not too far away that has an Automotive Care Center! I can drop off my car, shop for what we need and then pick up my car when we’re done! Perfect!!
Earlier this week, I realized that my car was overdue for an oil change (sorry dad!!) So, our whole family headed to the Walmart Automotive Care Center to get it take care of! They have a few options for oil changes using Pennzoil:
- Conventional Motor Oil – A traditional oil base, fortified with Active Cleaning Agents™ to continuously prevent dirt and contaminants from creating performance-robbing deposits.
- High Mileage Vehicle – Helps to reduce leaks and oil consumption in worn or higher mileage engines. It’s a motor oil that is specifically designed for new or late model vehicles with over 75,000 miles, to help keep the engines running clean and going strong for a long time.
- Platinum (synthetic motor oil) – Best cleanliness and protection in the Pennzoil line-up. With PurePlus™ Technology, the Platinum® motor oil is proven to keep pistons up to 40% cleaner than the toughest industry standard. PurePlus™ Technology is a revolutionary process that converts natural gas into a 99.5% pure base oil.
I typically go with the High Mileage Vehicle oil since…well, I have a high mileage vehicle and all. And, Pennzoil also offers a free warranty that covers 15 engine parts that may fail due to engine wear or which experience abnormal wear due to friction. (For more information, check out the Pennzoil Warranty Site.)
We went in and were immediately greeted at the counter, with a quick look-up of our customer and car info, we handed over the keys and we were all set! Avery wanted to go to the toy section, of course, but we realized it was rapidly approaching her dinner time. We had been told that our car would be ready in about 35 minutes, just enough time to grab Avery a sandwich at Subway located within the store! We ate, grabbed a few items in the automotive department that we needed and went to pick up my car! It was all so simple, and painless!
I love that I am able to drop off my car for service, and shop for all our families needs. This is especially helpful when we’re preparing to leave for a road trip! We often go to the Walmart Auto Care Center the day or a few days before hitting the road for our next adventure! Other than an oil change, here are our must-have items to make our trips successful!
1. Car chargers and music! No Road trip is a success without some good tunes, and nobody wants their phone to die!! How on earth would we know where we are going without the built in GPS???
2. MAPS! Oh! Right! This is what you’ll need if your phone battery dies, or the GPS can’t figure out where the heck you are (I’m looking at you Boston!!)
3. Toll money! Especially quarters! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten to a toll that I wasn’t expecting and had to search for exact change! Now I get my tolls ready in advance so I don’t have to dig between the seats searching for one more quarter!
4. An emergency kit. Everyone should have this in their car at all times. It is especially important on trips when you wont have a friend to call who can help you out in a pinch! Also, if you don’t have it already, invest in roadside assistance! I had to use it when my alternator conked out on a deserted turnpike in Middle-of-Nowhere, Oklahoma. It was such a blessing!
5. SNACKS! These are extremely important! Have a variety of snacks, and make sure they are within reach! Even if you have a “no food” rule in your car, you can let it slide on a long road trip! Especially if you have toddlers!
6. Activities! You’ll need something to keep the kiddos entertained. We bring books, travel games and other mess free activities on all our trips. It helps pass the time and keep Avery from asking to get out of the car every 5 minutes.
7. Gas cards! We like to budget and put our gas money on prepaid gas cards! Walmart has a great reloadable one that can be used at their stores and gas stations across the country!
And of course, the most important “must-haves” are your travel companions! A road trip is more fun with friends!!
What are your must have items for family road trips?
Do you like to change your own oil, checkout the current promotion from Ibotta (a free mobile savings app). Starting on 1/21/15 you can get $5 off one 5-quart bottle of Pennzoil Platinum with PurePlus Technology! https://ibotta.com/rebates?q=pennzoil