On top of taking good care of yourself, the new year is the perfect time to start taking good care of your car! To keep you safe on the road this year, and save you some money along the way, these are our new year’s resolutions for every car owner.
Give Your Car a Spring Clean
We may have just celebrated the new year, but we might as well get a head start on some spring cleaning. Aside from keeping your car looking fresh, there are some additional benefits to giving your car a deep clean.
Firstly, you’ll ensure you’re not carrying weight that you don’t need to. Not only will this help free up some space, but it’ll help put some dollars back in your pocket when you fuel up. For every 100 lbs you take out your car, your fuel economy increases by 1 – 2%. Once you’ve removed all the junk, you can use the extra space for light travel essentials such as an emergency kit or a first aid kit.
Keep Up With Your Service Schedule
The single biggest thing you can do to prevent throwing money at your vehicle is to get it serviced regularly. It might be tempting to skip the occasional oil change or brake pad replacement in an effort to save a few dollars. However, by doing so, you’re risking even more expensive problems in the future.
Think of your car the same way you think of your health – the more you take care of it, the longer it will last. Similarly, your car parts will wear out as it gets older. Thankfully, you can get car parts replaced – and you should. This will ensure your car is reliable and lower any risk of a major mechanical catastrophe.
Learn Some DIY
Fixing your car yourself can admittedly seem daunting, but there are a plethora of easy jobs to tackle on your own. Jobs such as:
- Windshield wiper replacement
- Replacing an air filter
- Changing your oil and oil filter
- Changing a set of spark plugs
- Replacing lightbulbs
- Changing a dead battery
Tutorials and how-to guides can be found online or in car repair manuals, but the best way to learn how to do these tasks properly is to have someone with mechanical knowledge walk you through it first.
Take More Road Trips
Nothing can pull you out of those post-new-year blues better than hitting the open road and venturing to that new place you’ve always wanted to go. Whether you’re the adventurous type, or you just want an escape from the every day mundane, getting some friends together, or going it alone is the perfect way to reenergize yourself and experience new things.
The secret to making your road trip memorable is all in the planning. You not only want to consider the end destination, but what you might encounter along the way. You may discover a new favorite restaurant, a rarely visited national park, or an unknown intimate art gallery. For the ultimate adventure, an overseas road trip can give you a unique perspective on an unfamiliar culture that few tourists get to see.
Learn How To Safely Jump Start a Vehicle
The more mechanically minded you are, and the more inclined you are to roll up your sleeves, the more money you’ll save. You don’t need a degree in engineering to understand the basic of how a vehicle works. Some small tasks such as a DIY oil change or jump starting a car are pretty straightforward.
When a vehicle won’t start, most of the time it can be attributed to a dead battery. If you know the steps to jump starting a car (and have a set of jumper cables or a portable jump starter) it’s easy to get your car started instead of waiting for help to arrive. The trick to safely jumping a car is knowing how to connect the cables properly, as well as grounding the negative charge. If you’re interested in learning this useful skill, ask your trusted mechanic to show you.
Start a Car Maintenance Fund
Car repairs can get expensive very quickly – and if you don’t have the money for it, you might just find yourself stuck without wheels for a while. But by putting a little money away regularly, you can dodge expensive curveballs and avoid having to scrounge for cash.
There are a couple of ways to do this effectively. The first involves going through your past repair bills and receipts and averaging out your repair costs. The second method is to decide on an amount you can afford to put aside weekly without putting strain on your existing budget. If you’re really stuck, the total cost of ownership calculator will give you an approximate amount you can expect to pay for maintaining and repairing your vehicle over a five-year period.