Written By: Kristin Brocoff Kristinsblog@carmd.com
Happy New Year! Now’s the time when people everywhere are making New Year’s resolutions, breaking ones they’ve already set, or are setting more achievable resolutions. To inspire you, here are some fun ways the most popular resolutions can be applied to your car maintenance and vehicle care:
- Lose weight – Are you driving around with extra “junk in your trunk” or truck bed? By removing an extra 100 pounds of clutter from your vehicle, you can improve your gas mileage by several percent. A bucket of baseballs weighs about 25 lbs, snow chains weigh at least 10 lbs a set and a set of golf clubs can weigh anywhere from 20 to 50 lbs.
- Quit smoking – I hope you’re not driving a “smoker,” but if your vehicle is emitting too many emissions, be sure to have it diagnosed and get issues addressed quickly before you do environmental damage or fail your next emissions check. Also, be sure to report any smoking vehicles you see on the road. Most DMV websites allow you to do this anonymously by sharing the vehicle’s license plate, date, time and location you spotted the “smoker.”
- Learn something new – Even if you don’t know a lot about car repair, you can still empower yourself. Make a resolution to learn how to check your oil, change a tire, replace a taillight bulb or use jumper cables. You never know when that extra knowledge will come in handy.
- Get a better education – Consider attending a car care or auto repair clinic in your area. You may find some for free by visiting www.carcare.org, or you can schedule a class such as that offered by Ladies Start Your Engines, offering auto repair classes just for women.
- Save money – A great way to save money on car repair is to follow a regularly scheduled maintenance program, and address small issues early, before they become costly repairs. If you’re one of the more than 10% of drivers who have ignored that “check engine” light a little too long, resolve to get the problem diagnosed and repaired. You may be pleasantly surprised. Loose gas caps and spark plugs are common culprits, but don’t cost much to repair.
- Take a trip – Plan that driving trip up the coast or to a national park you’ve always wanted to visit. By putting it on your calendar now, you can set aside gas money and book those campsites early.
- Volunteer to help others – If you’re a CarMD® Vehicle Health System™ owner, you can empower friends and family with access to the tools and information they may not have access to. Consider offering to run a CarMD “quick check” on their vehicle, to help make sure it’s safe. Don’t own a CarMD yet? Consider investing in one to help save you time and money on car repair this year and for many years to come.
Here’s to a happy and prosperous New Year, wherever your travels and resolutions take you!