Winter is here, Christmas is fast approaching, and Santa is almost done checking his list to find out who drives naughty or nice. Unfortunately, it’s easy to end up stuck on the “Naughty” list because of a few minor maintenance issues. With the dropping temperature comes a rise in car trouble for millions across the country, and Caliber is bringing you a few tips to make sure both you and your wheels keep rolling smoothly this holiday season.

CHILL OUT ON IDLE WARM UPS

For those in cold-weather climates, warming up your interior before driving is as second nature as putting on your seat belt. However, most people don’t realize this routine is actually pretty bad for your engine. Idling engines endure a tremendous amount of wear and tear, and actually warm up much slower while wasting a good amount of fuel in the process. Instead, we recommend donning a second pair of mittens and driving right away. Your car will warm up much quicker, and you’ll save both time and gas.

STAY FULL ON FUEL

If you’re like us, you want to save every little bit as you get through the last-minute holiday shopping. But driving until almost empty isn’t as frugal as it is risky. Your car ends up pulling sediment that has settled at the bottom of the tank into the fuel line. And the more you drive with a near-empty tank, the greater risk of dirt getting into your engine, causing hundreds of dollars in repairs down the road. So give your car a year-round Christmas present and keep your fuel levels full.

NOT SO FAST

Unless you’re in a big red sleigh, we recommend going the speed limit during your holiday travels. We get it: you have to make it to grandma’s before Santa arrives, but your car is actually designed to drive in a certain threshold of speed. When you drive more than 80 miles per hour, flying down the road like you’ve got an 8-Reindeer-Powered engine, your car exerts exponentially more effort. Especially when the weather outside is frightful. Keeping this in mind will ensure both you and your engine enjoy a safe holiday season.

COLD WEATHER CHECK UPS

Santa makes a list and checks it twice; you should, too. The cold comes with a list of potential problems for your car, especially if you haven’t had the elves take a peek at it in awhile. We’ve said it before; we’ll surely say it again: don’t skimp on your winter weather checkups. Car batteries are notorious for being fickle when the temperature shifts, so be sure to get yours tested before the winter solstice sets in. Also, since air compresses at lower temperatures, tires tend to be equally as problematic. Be sure to get a quick tune up and oil change before embarking on your holiday trips.

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll have no problem making Santa’s “Nice” list. And if Mother Nature gives you the gift of a fender bender in the mall parking lot, we’ll always be there to help restore the rhythm of your life and give the greatest gift of all: getting you back on the road.

Thank you, and have a happy holiday!