The New Year is a time when we vow to make a fresh start. And often that includes taking better care of ourselves. But how about taking better care of your car? Here are five resolutions to consider:
1. Wash it once a week
Keeping the paint in good condition is not just a matter of pride; it actually protects the value of your investment! Road grime, tree sap, and deposits from feathered friends contain contaminants that eat into paint, dulling a bright finish and helping corrosion get started. Not everyone has the time or a place to hand-wash their car, so go to a car wash and pay for the better service that includes the underside. Even if you don't live in the snowbelt, keeping this clean helps prevent rust.
2. Clean the inside
Do friends and family wrinkle their noses at the left-over fast food boxes in your car or truck? Do they wipe their hands on their pants after closing the door? You probably keep your lounge clean and tidy, so why not your car too? Make it a rule for the first Saturday of each month to vacuum the interior and get rid of the junk. Buy a tub of automotive interior wipes and go over all the surfaces – you'll be surprised at how fast they gather dust – and clean the window glass. You'll see out better, the windows will mist up less, people will want to ride in your car, and by keeping excess weight off, you'll even save a little gas!
3. Get the oil changed
The engine is your car's heart, but it asks for very little. Just treat it to a regular oil change and it will reward you with years of loyal service.
How regular is regular? That depends on your vehicle and the type of driving you do. Some light an indicator when the oil needs changing – resolve not to ignore it! For others, ask Kia of South Austin what we recommend, then mark on your calendar, organizer, or planner when you need to get fresh oil.
4. Check the lights and tire pressure
Resolve to do this every week. You don't want to drive around without lights, and you certainly don't want under-inflated tires.
Check brake lights by backing up to a garage door or wall and tapping the pedal while looking in the mirror. If you don't see the red glow from each light ask a friend to watch while you work the pedal. If there's a problem get it fixed promptly!
Tire pressures should be checked when the tires are cold. The best way is to buy a gauge and do a check before you get in and start driving. Perhaps you could do it before heading off to the car wash on Saturday morning! And don't forget the spare if you have one.
5. Stay current with servicing
Modern vehicles are extremely reliable, but there are things that need inspecting and replacing at regular intervals. Staying on top of servicing helps ensure your vehicle will provide reliable service for years to come. Ask your local service department what is recommended, and heed their advice.
The New Year is a time for fresh starts. Spend more time looking after your car, and it will be cleaner, more reliable, and even safer. That has to be a resolution worth sticking to!