2015 Car Maintenance New Year’s Resolutions
By: Good2GoPublished: January 6, 2015
It’s officially 2015 which means the usual “New Year, new you” song and dance. While some of your resolutions may include losing weight, saving money or quitting smoking, have you considered taking better care of your car? This year, resolve to perform regular car maintenance on your vehicle to save yourself a lot of headaches, heartbreaks, and money down the road. Here are a few resolutions to get you started.
Rotate your tires
It is generally recommended that drivers rotate their tires every 3,000 – 6,000 miles. While sources vary in their recommendations, you should shoot for the sweet spot of 5,000 miles. Rotating your tires will help evenly distribute tire wear and tear so you can get the most miles out of your tires. Be sure to double check your owner’s manual to see if your vehicle manufacturer suggests performing a tire rotation more often.
Check your tire pressure
While we’re still on the topic of proper tire maintenance, resolve to check your tire pressure more often in 2015. Tires naturally lose pressure over time, which can cause them to become less efficient. Try checking your tires every month – not when you feel like it – to ensure they are inflated properly based on your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation. When checking the tire pressure, do so in a shaded area an hour or so after driving. This will give you a better reading since the air pressure will be higher as soon as you stop the car.
Tire pressure is also impacted by the temperature outside. A tire inflated to 35 PSI in the summer may decrease to 30 PSI in winter, solely as a result of the change of seasons.
Replace your air filters
A dirty air filter can affect fuel economy and acceleration in your vehicle. If you’ve owned your vehicle for a few years and have neglected to check the air filter, now is the time to do so. Most drivers can drive their car for about a year or two before they need to change their air filters. However, if you live in an area where there is a lot of heavy traffic, dusty roads or hot weather, you should check your air filter every few months for black areas on the section where outside air enters. If your filter is clogged, change it immediately.
Maintain your car’s appearance
One of the best ways you can take better care of your car in the New Year is to learn how to maintain your car’s off-the-lot look. To clean your car like a pro, start with the basics. Use a car wash solution – NOT laundry detergent or dish soap. These can dry out your paint job and cause the protective coating to come off. Invest in a washing mitt when wiping down your car and don’t forget to wax. You should also consider cleaning the interior of your car and removing any debris, dirt, grime and junk that may be hitching an unwelcome ride.
Change your headlights
Do you find it increasingly difficult to see the road ahead of you? While you may not need glasses this year, you may need to swap out your headlights. Headlights can dim overtime, increasing your risk of an accident due to poor illumination. To give yourself the best road visibility possible, change both headlights at the same time. If one light is dimmer than the other or if one goes out first, replacing only one will make it difficult to see all areas of the road if one light is brighter than the other. Don’t risk driving with poor lighting just to save a few bucks – doing so could cost you even more.
Newer vehicles might also have headlights with lenses and changeable bulbs. The lenses can become cloudy over time, thereby diminishing the light shining through. There are treatments available to solve that problem, if needed.
Get regular oil changes
By regular, we don’t mean the outdated recommendation of changing your oil every 3,000 miles. Due to advances in oil and engine technologies, most automakers allow for oil changes every 7,500 or 10,000 miles, and some as high as 15,000 miles. Going without an oil change past the recommended mileage can lead to significant engine damage. If you are using old, dirty oil, your engine won’t function properly. The additives in dirty oil form contaminants that will eat metal parts. Water will then collect over time forming sludge. One word: gross. The result is damaged engine parts that the oil was supposed to protect. Follow your manufacturer’s recommended oil change schedule.
Use the right fuel
All gasoline is the same, right? Wrong! When it comes to purchasing gasoline, you get what you pay for. Buying fuel from that shady-looking gas station tucked away in the back woods may result in cheap, low performing gas. Cheap fuel can leave thick deposits that can severely affect your car’s performance. So how do you know you’re buying the best gas for your vehicle?
In 2014, auto representatives from BMW, General Motors, Honda, and Toyota came together to specify what makes a good fuel. They came up with a “Top Tier” standard of gasoline retailers to ensure the right detergents and additivities for high-performing fuel are used. You can read more about them at http://www.toptiergas.com/index.html.
It’s important for drivers to realize that regular car care is a resolution that will pay off all year-round. Most of these steps are relatively easy to implement yourself and the result will be a better performing car and fewer visits to the mechanic.
Good2Go wants you to drive safe – and affordably. Find out how you can protect yourself with Good2Go.com auto insurance. Get a car insurance quote today.