Many people this time of year set out to make a New Year’s resolution for themselves, whether it is losing weight, eating healthier or getting moved up the ladder at work. How about this year you set out to be a better owner for your vehicle? Let’s see how!
1. Schedule bi-annual checkups
Seasonal tune-ups and maintenance maximize your car or trucks fuel efficiency and performance. A trained technician can spot potential problems early, nipping costly repairs in the bud.
2. Keep the interior clean!
Spilled drinks, food crumbs, and mud make a vehicle look and smell bad. Toss your trash out after every commute or even when you get fuel. Clean messes promptly before stains and odors set in. Vacuum dirt before it gets down deep into carpet and seating.
3. Go for a car wash.
Don’t wait for someone to write “Clean Me” in the dust on your car or truck window. Regular car care includes cleaning and protecting its finish.
4. Learn to detail your car.
Automated car washes and light vacuuming are good for maintenance, but every so often your car deserves a nice, deep clean, inside and out. This is especially true if you want to protect your vehicle’s resale value. Learning how to do this yourself could save you some dough and give you a feeling of accomplishment and pride.
5. Check your tire pressure.
Driving with the correct tire pressure improves your vehicle?s safety and gas mileage, while extending tire life. Refer to the sticker on the inside of your driver’s side door, and add air as needed. Aim to check it at every other fill-up.
6. Check your oil.
If you’re checking tire pressure at every other fill-up, what should you do the rest of the time? Check your oil, obviously! Top it up as needed so your engine is always well lubricated.
7. Schedule regular oil changes.
The standard used to be complete oil change every 5,000 miles, but improved oil formulas and lower emission fuels, mean this is no longer the rule. Check your vehicle manual and schedule changes accordingly.
8. Stay on top of fluids.
Staying hydrated is probably on your New Year?s fitness resolutions but it?s crucial for your car too. Check your car’s fluids monthly (mark it on your calendar), and stay on top of oil, coolant, brake and clutch fluids.
9. Rotate your tires.
Every 5,000 to 10,000 miles is a good rule of thumb, but check your owner’s manual for a vehicle-specific recommendation.
10. Don’t ignore the lights.
If you’re the type who ignores the check engine light, whether you have put a sticker over the light or have just become blind to it, resolve to bring your car in for service at the first sign instead. Let a mechanic determine what’s up, and fix that light for you.