It’s a New Year. Everyone is hoping to lose all that extra holiday weight, save money or become more organized. But before you start compiling your own list of resolutions you hope to keep through at least February, be sure to keep your car in mind. Or if you’re looking to incorporate your car needs with other goals you have, think of how they can relate to each other. For example, if one of your resolutions is to save more money or travel more, this means you should commit to making wise decisions in regard to car maintenance and upkeep. And let’s face it, you need a way to get to the gym to exercise more don’t you? Let’s make 2016 the year for not only you, but for your car too. Here are some things you should do regularly now that you have a fresh start to the year:
Check Your Fluids Regularly– Before going on a long trip or when the weather changes, be sure to check to make sure all your fluids are at the proper level. Even keep a log to remind yourself the last time you checked or replaced any of them.
Check Your Air Pressure– Air up your tires to the correct pressure. If unsure of what that is, follow the sticker on the inside of your driver side door. Correct tire inflation ensures even tread wear, which can lengthen the life of your tires. Be sure to also check the pressure in your spare tire in case you have to use it in an emergency.
Keep A Constant Eye on Your Battery– Be sure to clean off any excess corrosion on the terminals and that you replace the battery when necessary. Keep in mind that the average service life of a battery is between two and five years.
Check and Replace Your Windshield Wiper Blades– Even if there hasn’t been much rain, it’s always important to make sure your blades are working properly and with the correct amount of force for when you need them.
Wash and Wax Your Car– Keep the paint looking nice and fresh on a regular basis, and to give it that extra shine. Washing and waxing your car will keep your paint looking better over time.
Practice Good Driving Habits– Hard braking and unnecessary acceleration will cause additional wear to the braking system and reduce gas mileage. Reduce speeding by giving yourself extra time for getting to your destination. Be sure to leave enough space between cars in front of and in the rear of you. Prevent minor fender benders by checking your blind spots and mirrors regularly. Make 2016 the year you control your road rage!
Polish Your Headlights– This is important for when you drive at night or when you encounter fog. Be sure your lights are bright enough that you can safely navigate and that others can see you on the road. You can purchase a polish kit or use supplies such as microfiber towels, plastic polish, painter’s tape, fine grit sandpaper and sealant.
Keep Interior Clean– Vacuum the interior frequently. Be sure not to keep food wrappers or garbage in your car to prevent messes and odors. Keep towels in your car for when you’ve tracked in dirt or mud as well.
Keep Updated Emergency Kit On Hand– In case of emergency it’s good to have a kit of all your necessities in case you need them. This is also handy for when you have kids or other passengers that require extra attention.
Make Sure Tags, Stickers and Insurance Are Updated– Prevent getting pulled over or receiving a ticket for having expired tags or stickers, and make sure your insurance is up to date in case of an accident. If you use a service like AAA, be sure you have an updated policy or card for that as well.