Car Care for Christmas: Go the Extra Mile for a Driver in Your Life

In the era of online shopping when countless holiday gifts are available at the click of a button, putting in a little extra time and legwork can mean a lot. The Car Care Council offers these thoughtful and practical ideas for gift-givers who want to go beyond a simple mouse click for their family and friends this holiday season.

“We live such busy and stressful lives these days and sometimes simply taking a chore off of someone’s plate can be the most thoughtful gift,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “The gift of car care will not only let your family and friends check an important task off their list, but it will help keep them safe on the road.”

An oil change and inspection: Regular oil changes are the best way to keep a car running in peak condition, but some drivers find it to be an onerous chore. If this sounds like someone you know, an oil change and inspection may be the perfect gift. Whether you take their car to a trusted professional technician or do it yourself, your family and friends will appreciate the time and effort you put into their gift.

A car wash and detail: Keeping a vehicle clean and detailed helps protect the paint, interior and wheels from harsh weather and damaging chemicals. A busy driver in your life will appreciate you taking the time to have their car professionally cleaned and detailed or doing it yourself.

A roadside emergency kit: For the traditionalist who can’t imagine a gift that isn’t wrapped up and under the tree, the Car Care Council suggests putting together a roadside emergency kit, including items such as jumper cables; emergency flares; a flashlight with batteries; blankets and extra clothes; water and non-perishable snacks; a first aid kit; a portable USB charger; an ice scraper, snow brush and small shovel; and the council’s Car Care Guide, available free of charge at

The non-profit Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For the latest car care news, visit the council’s online media room at To order a free copy of the popular Car Care Guide, visit the council’s consumer education website at

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Have You Heard About All the Firestone Credit Card Benefits?

Woman leaning on a broken down carThe holidays are a time of giving, and you’ve given just about every dollar of your paycheck to gifts for all of your loved ones. What would happen if, without warning, your tire went flat on your way home from a successful day of shopping? How are you supposed to get new tires when all of your money is wrapped up in festive gift boxes? Luckily, you don’t need to go canceling your holiday activities just yet. It’s easy to get new tires with the Firestone Credit Card.

Whether you’ve never heard of the Firestone Credit Card or you have but don’t know much about it, we’re here to fill you in on all the benefits, rewards, and special offers available.

What is the Firestone Credit Card?

The Firestone Credit Card is a retail-use line of credit accepted at any of our 1,700+ locations. Use it for new tires, tune-ups, fluid exchanges, wheel alignments, engine repairs, and anything else done in one of our one-stop auto shops!

If you’re afraid of financing or have been taught that credit cards are evil, then you haven’t met the Firestone Credit Card. While some credit cards have a bunch of strings attached and too much fine print to read, we at Firestone Complete Auto Care feel that financing should be simple. The application is short and credit decisions usually take less than a minute.

What are the benefits of the Firestone Credit Card?

Deferred Interest

Expensive repairs can be scary, especially if you have to pay for them all upfront. Once your Firestone Credit Card application is approved, you’ll receive six months of deferred interest as an introductory offer when your purchase is $149 or more.* That means those nice new tires you splurged on or that unexpected costly engine repair can feel a bit more manageable when you have half a year to pay for it!

No Interest on Monthly Balances Paid-In-Full

You don’t always have the cash on hand for a new car battery. Or, maybe you’ve been preparing to buy a new set of winter tires, but an unexpected life event came up and sapped all your vehicle maintenance funds. Instead of waiting until you can save up again, just use your Firestone Credit Card! Balances paid in full by the end of each month don’t accrue interest. That means you can get repairs same-as-cash, even when you don’t have real cash handy!

Special Pricing, Offers, and Deals

As a Firestone Credit Cardholder, you’re a valued member of the Firestone Complete Auto Care family—and we do our best to take care of our own! With your Firestone Credit Card, you’ll receive exclusive deals, offers, and savings that are only available to cardholders, such as special prices on tires. We’ll let you know when any of these deals come up so you can head to a Firestone Complete Auto Care near you and start saving. Plus, you can easily check your balance and make payments online, and you can set up email reminders for due dates, so you never miss a payment.

How does credit card interest work?

So, you paid for your car repairs with your Firestone Credit Card but can’t pay off the balance by the end of the month. Now you’re worried about interest. It happens! We understand it’s easy to get nervous about credit card interest. After all, it’s not like many of us took a class on it in high school. So, to help put your mind at ease, consider this your lesson on how credit card interest works. After all, knowledge is power!

On most credit cards, including the Firestone Credit Card, interest is compounded daily. All this means is that whatever your daily balance is, a percentage is taken and added to your monthly balance as interest. This percentage is taken from your annual percentage rate or APR. Take Firestone’s Credit Card APR of 28.8%*. Divide it by 365 (days of the year), and your daily interest rate is a mere 0.079%!

For example, let’s say you purchase a set of new winter tires for $300. During a 31-day month, the daily accrued interest would only add up to approximately $7.35. That’s about two cups of coffee, or perhaps one if you enjoy the fancy stuff.

*APR subject to change

How do I get a Firestone Credit Card?

You know the benefits, and we’ve settled the scary interest debate. Now you’re ready to get your own Firestone Credit Card! But where do you begin? Luckily, the process is simple and only takes a few minutes. Apply online or visit any one of our locations, and we’ll be happy to help you get started toward becoming a valued cardholder.

Don’t let unexpected car repairs steal your holiday cheer. Keep those gifts under the tree by becoming a Firestone Credit Card member today and taking advantage of the six-month deferred interest period.

*MINIMUM MONTHLY PAYMENTS REQUIRED. APR: 28.8%. Minimum Finance Charge: $2.00. Terms are subject to change. Learn more >

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The Best Motor Oils For 2019

1) Valvoline – Best Conventional Oil

From $5 per quart
When looking for a motor oil, why not choose one from the company that invented the product? Valvoline founder Dr. John Ellis is credited as the inventor of motor oil, creating products for steam engines and later worked with Ford to make a formulation for the Model T.

The company’s in-house development team continues to be at the leading edge of lubrication technology, working together with motorsport teams to meet the demands of their engines while also spearheading the development of formulations that improve the performance of high mileage engines.

Valvoline NextGenvalvoline-nextgen meets all the standards for a conventional oil, but it costs less than many major brands and is made with 50 percent recycled oil.

When Scientific American reported on the oil when it first came to market, they found that the refining techniques used to create this formulation allowed it to meet all the API requirements as a standard motor oil. Since then, other options using recycled base oils have hit the market, allowing buyers to maintain their vehicles while having a lower impact on the environment.

Valvoline is one of the few oil manufacturers who backup their high mileage oil with a guarantee. If your engine has under 125,000 miles on it, you can register it in a program that will give you some valvoline-maxlife-5w30warranty protection from the company provided that you keep up on maintenance records and only use their oil.

Valvoline MaxLife SAE 5W30 – Using the latest breakthroughs in distillation, this engine formulation is engineered for the issues facing high mileage engines. This oil helps by reducing friction, removing corrosive deposits and helps prevent oil leaks.

2) Mobil 1 – Best Synthetic Engine Oil

From $5 per quart
mobil-1-10w30-synthetic-oilThe best synthetic motor oil (just beating out the Amsoil mentioned below), is Mobil 1 10W-30 Full Synthetic Motor Oil.

Many of the cars in top level motorsports use Mobil 1. The company prides itself on its motorsports partnerships. They make the official engine oil of NASCAR and they’re the oil sponsor of McLaren-Honda’s F1 team. Their testing and development of oils designed for demanding racing conditions has worked its way into their consumer products.

Their synthetics are great at maintaining a low viscosity in very cold temperatures, and they’ve led the way in developing oils formulated for turbocharged engines. Turbocharged motors are notorious for high oil consumption due to the extreme heat generated by the turbo bearings, and with their adoption across the industry as a way to increase fuel efficiency, this is becoming an issue for not just sports cars, but regular consumer cars and trucks as well.

The best engine oils are synthetics like Mobil 1, Valvoline SynPower and Castrol Edge. Despite being highly refined and processed, they can be fairly affordable if you keep an eye out for sales and rebates.

There are also higher-end synthetic oils like Royal Purple, Motul and Amsoil. While they’re often touted by armchair enthusiasts on online forums for their supposed superior protection, there is little concrete evidence to back up these claims. However, they offer at least the same level of protection as more affordable, widely available synthetics.

All that said, if your car and driving habits don’t demand the added protection of a synthetic, there’s no harm saving money by using a conventional oil.

3) Castrol GTX HM – Best Motor Oil for Older, High Mileage Cars

From $6 per quart
castrol-gtx-high-mileageNo matter how well lubricated the inside of your engine is, the metal components will wear down and internal seals will dry and shrink over time, allowing oil to get into places where it will burn away or leak out.

It used to be common practice to use thicker oils as engines got older, but these formulations cause extra strain on the oil pump and don’t reach all the pathways to fully lubricate the engine. That means rather than fixing the problem, they can actually accelerate engine wear.

Contrary to popular belief, a synthetic won’t slip through these spaces more easily and burn faster than a conventional oil. Synthetic and conventional oils with the same viscosity will flow exactly the same way. For high mileage engines, there’s a better alternative to either of these: semi-synthetic oil.

Castrol GTX HM doesn’t just work better in older engines, it adheres to parts longer, offering better protection when starting an engine after a long period of sitting. This makes it a great choice for older vehicles that are only used occasionally such as antique cars and winter beaters.

4) Royal Purple Synthetic Motor Oil – Best Oil for Diesel Engines

From $8 per quart
royal-purple-5w30-high-performance-oilRoyal Purple is almost unheard-of outside of racing circles, but independent tests show their oils are able to keep up with oils offered by the industry’s leaders. Hot Rod magazine has experimented with their lubricants and managed to get more power out of a classic car and improving the fuel economy on a late model Ford pickup by switching to their oil and transmission fluid. While not a thorough test of their products’ capabilities, these tests are much better than the speculation surrounding most oil claims.

5) Quaker State

From $5 per quart
Valvoline and Castrol may offer semi-synthetic high mileage formulations, but Quaker State has gone the extra mile, creating conventional, synthetic blend and full synthetic oils all designed for older vehicles, allowing buyers choose the trade off between price and performance that works for them. There are many supporters of their Defy High Mileage blends who have run the oil in vehicles that have anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 miles on their engines.

6) Total Motor Oil

From $8 per quart
total-quartz-5w30Total may not be a big name in the U.S, but they’re a major player in Europe thanks to their extensive petroleum operations.  If you follow any motorsports outside of America, you’re probably familiar with the brand as they’ve sponsored Red Bull’s F1 team since 2009. That’s the same team that won the constructor’s championship title, and whose driver, Sebastian Vettel, took the driver’s championship title that same year.

They’re also involved in rally racing, supporting Citroën’s efforts for over 20 years. Here in the states, they recently became the top sponsor for the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) racing series, a top level North American-based motorsport that was formerly known as Grand-Am racing. Like Mobil, they’re able to apply their experience developing oils for severe racing conditions to create formulas that meet the demands of regular consumer vehicles.

7) Pennzoil Motor Oil

From $4 per quart
pennzoil-platinum-5w30-full-syntheticWhile other manufacturers concentrate on lubrication performance, Pennzoil’s development aims at reducing the formation of sludge to keep the inside of the engine as clean as possible. That translates to lower friction, maintaining power and fuel economy.

There’s more to this strategy than just marketing. The brand works hand-in-hand with automotive manufacturers to develop oils for their engines and recently became the official oil supplier for Ferrari. There could be few better endorsements than the approval of one of the world’s top supercar manufacturers, and even if you aren’t going to run out and buy one of these vehicles, the resulting marketing campaigns with IMSA driver Rhys Millen tearing around Barcelona in a 488 GTB are great fun to watch. Using Pennzoil may not turn your commuter into a V12 sports car, but there’s no doubt it will protect your engine.

8) Amsoil Synthetic Motor Oil

From $7 per quart
amsoil-signature-series-5w-30When did you first hear about synthetic oil? The 2000s? The 90s? Amsoil led the way, bringing lubrication technology developed for fighter jets to the automotive market in the 1970s, beating their competitors by almost two decades. Their synthetic formulations were the first to be recognized by the American Petroleum Institute, the same API that formulates all the standard performance tests for oil that automakers design their engines and lubrication systems around. Despite this leading position, the company has remained a small, family-owned enterprise with a focus on quality over sales.

Since it was founded, the company has stayed at the leading edge of oil development, concentrating on motorsports applications. Instead of working with a single high high profile series, they sponsor a wide range of racing events in the U.S. and Canada including motocross, Sprint Cup, Canadian Snowcross Racing and numerous off-roading events.


According to promotional materials and advertisements, each brand and formulation of engine oil is the best oil, offering unparalleled engine protection, fuel economy and performance. The truth is that almost every motor oil on the market these days meets the same API standards and can provide the protection our vehicles need, so long as they meet the specifications of the automobile’s manufacturer.

Since oil manufacturers do their testing internally and secretly and there’s no standardization other than the API’s requirements, any advantage a particular formulation may have is hard to determine as the information available is speculative at best.

No matter what oil you choose, always compare the manufacturer’s recommendations with the API “donut” seal on the back of the oil container. This seal will include the service category, oil viscosity, and whether or not the oil formulation is “energy conserving,” which means it reduces friction for improved fuel economy. As long as the requirements of your engine are met, the oil is safe to use in your vehicle.

Perform with Firestone Firehawk A/S Tires

Firestone Firehawk all season tireYou expect performance and speed year-round. Firestone Firehawk all-season tires will meet your expectations, then blow past them.

Our Best High-Performance Tire

The newest Firestone Firehawk AS tire offers sport performance and year-round capabilities—so you can push your sports car to its full potential no matter the season. It’s a great all-season performance tire for sedans.

What Are Performance Tires?

You’ve been dreaming of that sports car since you were a kid, saving up for it since high school—don’t let the wrong tires slow your dream car down. Restrictive tires can take away from the experience of driving your sports car, performance sedan or sporty coupe but, fear not, that’s why performance tires were created!

Performance tires are characterized by their large tread blocks and telltale speed ratings, which range from S to Z. Speed ratings indicate the top speed at which a tire will perform well—assuming optimal conditions. Generally-speaking, a higher speed rating is an indicator of greater steering, cornering, and stopping capabilities.

Why Buy Firestone Brand Performance Tires?

As the exclusive tire supplier for the NTT IndyCar® Series, Firestone leads the way in tire research and innovation. In 2019, the manufacturer will supply over 26,000 racing tires for the premier open-wheel race series—all of which are tightly controlled and not available to the public. However, Firestone has translated the technology of the Firehawk race tires into two consumer-friendly performance models:

Technology & Benefits: Top Performance All Year Long

Are you tired of retiring your sports car every time the weather changes? Here’s what makes the Firehawk AS a reliable high-performance tire that transitions seamlessly from one season to the next.

  • Increased Slots: Designed to evacuate water to reduce your risk of hydroplaning
  • 20% More Biting Edges*: Tread designed with extra sipes provides added traction in the snow
  • Full Depth Tread Features: Full-depth sipes add traction, handling, and performance over the life of the tire
  • Outstanding Value: Affordable price in the performance tire category

*As compared to the prior generation Firestone Firehawk tire.

Where to Buy Affordable Performance Tires

Performance tires are known for their superb maneuverability and steering! However, they’re not favored for their price tag. To get track-inspired tires at competitive prices, shop Firestone Firehawk AS tires online. Simply select your car make and model to find the right tires for your vehicle at the right price for your budget!

When you buy your tires online, you’ll have the option to have them delivered and installed at your nearest Firestone Complete Auto Care. You can even choose between paying for your tires during your online checkout or hold off until after they’re installed. Plus, you’ll get first dibs on tire coupons and exclusive installation discounts.

You’ll also get access to a variety of tire warranty options such as:

  • The 90-Day Buy & Try Guarantee: Try Firestone tires for 90 days. If you don’t love them, we’ll refund or replace no questions asked. Learn more about the Firestone 90-Day Buy & Try Guarantee.
  • The Firestone Gold Pledge Limited Warranty: Which covers most Firestone-brand tires that have been damaged for reasons within the manufacturer’s control.
  • Other manufacturers’ warranties, and additional Firestone Complete Auto Care ones such as the Road Hazard Protection Warranty and Supplemental Mileage Limited Warranty

Sit back, buckle up, and rev up that engine—with Firestone Firehawk all-season tires, you’ll fall back in love with your dream car in no time.

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Explore Firestone Destination LE2 Tires

Firestone Destination LE2 tireWant a tire that’ll work as hard as you do? Then you need the Firestone Destination LE2 tires. Rain or shine, Destination LE2 all-season tires for light trucks and SUVs will get you where you want to be.

Why buy Firestone Destination LE2 Tires?

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night” is often used to express postal workers’ dedication.

Thanks to Firestone Destination LE2 tires, that saying now applies to every CUV, light truck, and SUV driver.

That’s the kind of confidence you get when Firestone’s Destination LE2 all-season truck tires connect you to the road. In fact, the Destination LE2 delivers everything you need in an all-season tire.

What Are All-Season Tires?

You’re likely driving your CUV, light truck, or SUV year-round. It’s good to have a tire that can do the same thing. Such tires are called “all season” tires. They’re designed and manufactured to provide reliable and safe performance regardless of the driving conditions that each season may bring.

Do you demand high-speed performance from your tires? Or are the weather conditions in your area especially demanding? Then consider purpose-built tires for those circumstances. For example, all-season tires will perform well on your sports coupe, but you might wish to look at Firestone’s Firehawk AS performance tire. Are you planning any trips to places with arctic-like conditions more hospitable to a polar bear than a person? Look at Firestone’s Winterforce LT tire.

If you’re not living at either end of those extremes, welcome to the tire you need: the Destination LE2.

Destination LE2 Benefits

Mastery in Different Weather

The Destination LE2 handles whatever the road throws at you.

  • Wet driving conditions? Wide circumferential grooves help channel water away from the tread, boosting grip and stability.
  • Dry driving conditions? Continuous closed shoulder blocks help deliver performance around town and down the highway.

Not even winter conditions can prevent Destination LE2 tires from delivering all-season performance, thanks to slots and zigzag sipes for improved traction. And we know something about treads. Firestone tires debuted non-skid tread designs in 1908 — a practice picked up by other tire manufacturers and used ever since.

Long Life and Durability

When it isn’t going toe-to-toe with Mother Nature, Firestone’s Destination LE2 tire holds its own against Father Time.

Credit goes to an internal structure that includes twin steel belts, reinforced with spirally wrapped nylon, and a silica-enhanced light truck compound.

Comfort and Quiet

You’d think that driving on a long-lasting tire as strong as it is durable means sacrificing a smooth ride. Not with the Firestone Destination LE2 though.

Dependability in various driving conditions shouldn’t cost you a good ride. That’s why these tires feature flexible sidewalls and a polyester cord body. Both contribute to ride comfort while the tire’s specially designed tread pattern keeps noise to a minimum.

Fuel Economy

All-season tires won’t handle days’ long off-roading excursions like their all-terrain cousins. However, they typically have an advantage when it comes to providing better mileage.

That’s because many other all-terrain tires have tread blocks that make them sturdy over rocks and through ruts, but diminish fuel efficiency. Firestone Destination LE2 all-season truck tires are designed differently. You won’t have to trade poor fuel efficiency for a solid ride on a bumpy road.

Destination LE2 Tire Reviews

Drivers in all-season locations appreciate the Destination LE2 tire and its ability to handle each season on its own terms. They cite such characteristics as the LE2’s:

  • Overall handling in snowy conditions
  • Assured handling in rainy conditions — handling that greatly reduces hydroplaning risks
  • Combination of ride comfort, quiet, and durability

Looking for speed? The Firestone Destination LE tire rating indicates a maximum sustainable speed of 112 mph. (But you’ll probably appreciate its weather capabilities much more.)

Where To Buy Firestone Destination LE2 Tires

Built to last with solid wet and dry performance, the Destination LE2 tire is ready to work just as hard as you do. That’s a promise backed by a limited warranty.

You can find Firestone Destination LE2 tires in all sizes at your nearest Firestone Complete Auto Care location. For even greater convenience, Destination LE2 tires are also available online. Schedule an appointment for installation to save time!

Visit your local Firestone Complete Auto Care today to learn more about Firestone tires and Firestone’s full line-up of Destination tires.

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