Every January, many people begin the new year with a sense of a clean slate and make resolutions about losing weight, saving money, paying off debt, or spending more time with their family. If you are one of these people, there is one key area of your life that you may be forgetting when you’re thinking of resolutions – your car. Here are some great New Year’s Resolutions that you may want to consider adding to your list for 2012:
I will change my oil on time.
Having regular oil changes is important to keeping your vehicle running smoothly and efficiently by keeping the engine well lubricated and preventing corrosion. Plus, if you have a newer vehicle, oil changes may be required to maintain your warranty status. Refer to your owner’s manual for your recommended oil change interval.
I will wash my car regularly.
Washing your car, especially in the winter in our climate, is one of the most beneficial things you can do to extend the life of your vehicle. Rinsing off the slush, salt, sand and snow, particularly from the undercarriage, will prevent it from caking on and promoting rust. It’s recommended to wash your car once every other week and right after a snowstorm for the most prevention of damage.
I will keep at least a quarter tank of gas in my car at all times.
There are several reasons to keep at least a quarter tank of gas in your vehicle at all times, especially in the winter. If you are stuck or off the road, you may need to run your vehicle to stay warm while you are waiting for a tow truck. In addition, if your tank is relatively empty, it allows condensation to occur, which could prevent your car from starting and lead to ice buildup that could cause damage to your fuel pump and filter.
I will keep up on my recommended maintenance per my owner’s manual.
Regular maintenance improves fuel economy and extends car’s life, yet many people don’t perform the recommended maintenance (other than oil changes) on their vehicles. Manufacturers recommend a specific maintenance schedule in most vehicle’s owners manuals to help extend the life of your vehicle, save money on maintenance instead of spending it on repairs, and to be in compliance with any warranty coverage. Check your owner’s manual to see your vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule.
I will check my tire pressure regularly.
Checking your tire pressure with a tire gauge is one of the quickest and simplest things you can do for vehicle maintenance. Keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure helps your fuel economy and extends the life of your tires. Refer to your owner’s manual or the sticker in your driver’s doorjamb to see your tire’s recommended inflation.
I will rotate my tires at regular intervals.
Rotating your tires at regular intervals extends the life of the tire by ensuring that all four tires wear evenly. Refer to your owner’s manual to determine how often your manufacturer recommends rotating the tires on your vehicle, but it’s typically recommended every 5,000 to 10,000 miles.
I will review my automotive insurance coverage.
Check your automobile insurance policy to review your coverage limits and check that all drivers and vehicles in your household are covered. It may be a good time to check with your insurance agent to obtain an updated quote and make sure you are taking advantage of any discounts that may be offered to lower your insurance premium.
I will reduce my distracted driving.
Texting, making calls, putting on makeup, eating, tending to a small child in the back seat are all minor behaviors that put you, your passengers and other drivers at risk for serious injury. In addition, these minor distractions are also the causes of many minor fender benders, something that could hurt your driving record and increase your vehicle insurance.
I will learn how to use the technology in my car.
Your car may be equipped with Bluetooth or SYNC to allow you to pair your phone or other devices with your car. This time-saving technology allows you to use GPS, listen to music, make hands-free calls and more. Refer to your owner’s manual or ask a service advisor to help you learn how to make the most of your vehicle’s features.
I will be prepared for an automotive emergency with an emergency kit.
Keep an emergency kit in the trunk with supplies to keep you comfortable in case of an emergency. Think of including things like bottled water, granola bars, warming blankets, extra socks and boots, hats and gloves and blankets. Even if you live in an area where you wouldn’t be depending on your emergency kit for survival if you get stuck or go off the road, they may make the wait more comfortable while waiting for a tow truck to arrive.