The entrance of a new year is always a good time to pause and reflect. Don’t let your vehicle go neglected at this time! Just like an annual visit to your physician’s office, making it a point to have your car get a check-up is a good idea to increase its longevity. Getting all of the belts and hoses checked, the battery tested and brakes looked at will get you safely into the new year.
Maintaining your car is a natural aspect of car ownership. If you are interested in keeping your car operating well and not having to pay a lot of money for undue repairs, regularly maintaining your car is essential. You can also increase your vehicle protection by finding the cheapest car insurance that aligns well with your lifestyle and budget.
Find a Mechanic You Trust
Auto repair shops tend to get a bad rap, but there are certainly plenty of reputable and reasonably priced mechanics out there who can help keep your car in good repair. You should feel comfortable with this person (or shop in general) to the point where you believe what they say about your vehicle and don’t feel taken advantage of price-wise.
If you are someone who isn’t car-savvy (and most of us aren’t!) make a point to take your vehicle to your mechanic for regular checkups to be certain everything is in good working order. This will prevent issues from getting out of hand.
What You Can Do Yourself
If you were to take your car into the shop for every little thing it would end up costing you a bundle. One great thing you can do for yourself (and your bank account) is to become familiar with some of the things you can do yourself with regards to car upkeep and maintenance.
- Inspect the tires for excessive wear, under-inflation and tears or bulges
- Pop the hood and look for hoses that have come loose or disconnected
- Do the same with belts
- Learn how to check the oil in your car. Grab an old cloth, pull out the dipstick, run the rag over it then put the dipstick back in. Pull it out again to determine if you have the proper amount of oil and if it is a clean, amber color.
Clean the Exterior
Cleaning the exterior of your car is not just so you and your car look good, it’s so that you can spot things that might be going wrong with the car, too. Plus, salt on the car can rust it and cleaning the car preserves the paint job. Cleaning all of the windows, headlights, mirrors and brake lights will allow for greater visibility and lower the risk of getting into a crash.
Clean the Interior
Most people would never live in a house that was in the same condition they leave their car. Fast food containers, junk mail, shopping bags, who knows what is in your car once you leave it untouched for a while. Make a habit of it to regularly clean the inside of your car and clean up spills when they happen. This will not only give you a sense of pride in your car but it also prevents mildew and rust from forming. Remember to clean the interior sides of the windows, mirrors and dashboard, too.
Regular Oil Changes
The start of the New Year brings along with it the idea of making improvements. Why not start with your vehicle? Sit down and mark on your regular calendar of events when your car is do for an oil change. Generally, it’s 3,000 miles or every 3 months whichever comes first. Depending on the age of your vehicle and how often you drive it you might opt for more or less than this rule of thumb.
Consider Your Tires
70% of Americans live in areas that receive a legitimate winter. This means cold, blowing snow and ice. Consider swapping out your regular tires for snow tires. They won’t just keep you safer; they’ll also save you money because the engine won’t have to work as hard.
Vow to Follow Scheduled Services
Your car needs maintenance just like everything else does. With the New Year approaching, make a commitment toward following scheduled services and to never skip a tune-up. There’s a good reason why the manufacturer recommends a variety of services to be done on the vehicle, and if you want your car to last you a long time with few repairs, following the recommendations is in your best interest.
With 2023 nearly upon us, now is the time to make a commitment to maintaining your vehicle so you can be safer and save money.