The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Drive Safely This Summer with Tips from Manny, Moe & Jack

PHILADELPHIA--May 23, 2006--With Memorial Day, the unofficial start of the summer travel season, just around the corner, and gas prices continuing to rise, The Pep Boys -- Manny, Moe & Jack , the nation's leading automotive aftermarket retail and service chain, offers motorists information on how to prepare for summer travel and, in turn, save gas and prevent potential breakdowns.

Despite the high gas prices, it is estimated that almost 30 million motorists will be on the road this Memorial Day. Although gas prices are not slowing drivers down, an ill-prepared vehicle could still stall road trip plans.

"Pep Boys recommends motorists seek preventive maintenance inspections and services to make sure their vehicle's mechanical and electrical systems, as well as the brakes, battery and transmission, are able to perform optimally in hot summer driving conditions," said Joe Cirelli, senior vice president of service at Pep Boys. "A well-maintained vehicle is also an effective way to increase fuel efficiency."

Critical areas to consider include:

Preventive Maintenance

Make automotive maintenance and service a year-round investment. Your vehicle will last longer, and you will gain peace of mind. Pep Boys offers a complete lineup of preventive maintenance packages at various mileage intervals that meet your manufacturer's requirements to keep your vehicle running at its peak. Preventive maintenance is the key to any dependable vehicle.

Air Conditioning System

A well-functioning air conditioning system is essential during hot weather, high humidity (such as rainstorms) and high pollution. It is important to have your system checked periodically and have regular maintenance performed to avoid the discomforts of driving without ventilation, and to ensure the A/C is working efficiently.

Cooling System

Failures in the cooling system are a major cause of breakdowns during road trips. Be sure to check for leaks in the radiator and heater hoses. Antifreeze increases the boiling point of your coolant and is important to check as well. Flush the cooling system every 24,000 miles or according to the vehicle manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule.

Engine Drive Belts

Engine drive belts operate important parts attached to the engine, such as the alternator, water pump, power steering pump and air conditioning compressor. These belts should be checked regularly for cracks, dry-rot, glazing, uneven wear and frayed edges. If belts slip or break, it could mean a breakdown, loss of air conditioning, engine overheating or even a loss of steering. If equipped, the condition of the timing belt is also very important, because if this belt breaks, it can cause immediate and potentially expensive internal engine damage.

Tires, Steering & Suspension

Potholes caused by harsh winter weather can take a toll on tires, steering and suspension components and your alignment. So, prior to summer, it is important to check the tires for dangerous sidewall breaks and excessive or uneven tread wear. Pep Boys can perform a free tire air pressure check to catch under- or over-inflation, which can lead to performance and operation problems, as well as safety concerns. When a car pulls to one side while steering or braking, it can be an indication of suspension problems or the need for wheel alignment.


Drivers should have their brakes inspected, including all brake linings, hardware and hydraulics if the last inspection occurred more than 15,000 miles or 12 months ago. The hydraulic system should be assessed for leaks and proper operation. "Sponginess" or "drop" in the brake pedal, a tendency for the car to pull to one side when braking, squealing noises coming from the brakes or a drop in the master cylinder's fluid level all can signify problems.


Have your battery tested, particularly if it is over three years old. Visually inspect the battery to make sure the connections between the cables and terminals are tight and there is no sign of corrosion.


Transmission problems can be bad any time of year, but are especially troublesome during long family trips or with your favorite boat or trailer in tow. Erratic shifts or slippage should be examined before more serious troubles arise. A transmission fluid exchange safely removes virtually all of a transmission's old, contaminated fluid, as well as varnish and sludge deposits. It also cleans the transmission's cooler, valve body and torque converter to remove wear metals that slowly grind away your transmission's internal components. This service thoroughly cleans your car's transmission and protects it with fresh automatic transmission fluid and conditioners that revitalize the seals and o-rings.

As a company committed to public safety, Pep Boys also advocates the safety and well-being of everyone traveling this season. Pep Boys reminds motorists to never leave children or pets unattended in a vehicle, even for a minute. The sun can heat up a parked car very quickly; interior temperatures can soar from 78 to 125 degrees in approximately eight minutes.

About Pep Boys

Pep Boys has 593 stores and over 6,000 service bays in 36 states and Puerto Rico. Along with its vehicle repair and maintenance capabilities, the Company also serves the commercial auto parts delivery market and is one of the leading sellers of replacement tires in the United States. Customers can find the nearest location by calling 1-800-PEP-BOYS or by visiting