Ahh, 2014 is here! Change is in the air, along with wind chill so cold that you can feel the thoughts in your head turning to ice cubes.
We’re all coming off the high of ringing in the New Year, as well as formulating the best ways to go about our resolutions.
If you weren’t lucky enough to think of a few year-long changes in your life, have no fear! There’s a very simple yet effective goal to work towards: keeping your car maintained.
This may seem a bit trivial when compared to weight loss or a kinder disposition, but think about it: you trust your car with getting you to work, the kids to school, and Fido to the vet when he eats your cell phone. So why wouldn’t you do your best to give your vehicle the love it deserves?
For your reading pleasure, check out these 6 New Year’s Resolutions You Can Make For Your Car:
1. Keep the inside of your car clean
Nothing is more deflating than driving to pick up someone on your first date (or your grandma, she’s a sweetheart too!) with a car full of garbage and trash. Your date will think you’re a slob, and grandma will pull you by the ear inside so she can talk some sense into you.
Pick a nice sunny day to go outside and vacuum out all the mats and seats, and get some rags to wipe down all the dust and grime off the dashboard. You’ll get fresh air, exercise, and a car that’s ready for any passenger.
Even when the conditions are too extreme to fully clean out your vehicle, limiting or erasing the amount of trash in your car will help maintain a level of cleanliness that both you and your grandma will appreciate.
Keep a small trash receptacle in front with you and empty it when you walk into work or stop to get gas; this will ensure your car stays nicer, longer.
2. Be proactive with symptoms
How many times have you been driving your car, and heard a soft sound, like the coo of a dove? Some of us are guilty of just dismissing the sound as just that: a dove. In reality, that dove could be a faulty transmission, a head gasket ready to blow, or something worse.
Make a vow this year that you’ll be more attentive to suspicious behavior in your car. If nothing else, it will give you piece of mind, and on the off chance that you do have an issue with your car, you could save yourself hundreds (THOUSANDS!) of dollars should that dove come back to bite you.
3. Schedule at least two service appointments
Get your car checked out. Seriously. Don’t become that person who thinks their car is invincible and requires no maintenance. You put a lot of time, faith, and money into your vehicle; let it know you respect it by scheduling routine maintenance.
Getting your car into service bi-annually (at minimum!) will not only keep your car in prime condition, but it will keep you constantly aware of any issues that might be in their innocent early stages.
4. Keep your fluids topped off and in good shape
Imagine this fun scenario: you’re driving down the freeway and a bug hits your windshield. Not a big deal, although this particular insect was a juicy one. You flick your wiper fluid to clear it up….only it’s not wiper fluid, it’s motor oil. And now, much to your horror, your wiper blades start smearing bug-goo and the brown smokescreen all over your windshield.
Oh, did I mention you’re going 70 mph…with no vision? Scary stuff, right?
Make sure your coolant is topped off, your wiper fluid is wiper fluid, and your oil doesn’t look like overcooked chili. Keeping the lifeblood of your car in clean condition will extend its lifetime, and reduce your gray hairs from freeway nightmares like the one above.
5. Be on top of the condition of your tires and wheels
For those that aren’t aware, it is cold outside. Like, really cold. Like, really, really, REALLY, cold. The last place any of us want to be is outside, and having your tire blow out on the way to work because you neglected the low tire warning is a surefire way to start a case of the Mondays.
Stay in control of your tires. Keep them filled up, and keep an eye out for balding tires. With temperatures as low as they are, the roads are almost guaranteed to be ice sheets. Skidding around the road like a carnival ride is not how you want to spend your morning commute.
6. Listen to your Service Advisor
Let me clear up a taboo that may be festering around in the back of some minds: a service advisor or technician is not out to over-charge you or suggest unneeded repairs for your vehicle. Rather, he or she wants to make sure you are safe in the car they are inspecting.
Now I can’t speak for all service garage’s everywhere in this great big world, as I’m sure there are some bad eggs out there.
What I can tell you is that when you service your vehicle at a LaFontaine Service Center, our service advisors and technicians are trained to report to you the exact details of their comprehensive inspection so you can make an educated decision on what you’d like to have repaired or replaced – nothing more, nothing less.
Remember, the “Family Deal” isn’t just about getting a great deal on a new or used vehicle. It’s about providing a level of customer service that’s enjoyable and stress-free when you visit one of our Service Departments.
It’s a new year, and a fresh start for change in your life. Make the most of this mentality by staying on top of your car, and you both will find yourself happily riding into the sunset safe and sound.