Happy New Year to you and all of yours. And as a bonus, may you be a happy driver too.
And there’s no better way to stay happy on the road than to keep your car well maintained, humming along with audible aplomb.
A new year’s resolution for the road
According to a study published by the University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology [http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/], the top New Year’s resolutions, in order, are:
- Lose weight
- Get organized
- Spend less, save more
- Enjoy life to the fullest
- Staying fit and healthy
- Learn something exciting
- Quit smoking
- Help others in their dreams
- Fall in love
- Spend more time with family
Noble goals all, and worthy of aspiration (even though #7 only applies to 18.1% of adults in the U.S.). But falling in love is probably only likely to help you maintain your vehicle if you happen to fall in love with an auto mechanic, so here’s a better resolution:
“For 2015, I resolve to have a Vehicle Maintenance Checklist, and to stick to it.”
Feels good already, right? Don’t worry. This is an easy one to follow through on.
The resolution for revolutions checklist
- First, GET a checklist! This means getting a piece of paper, mobile app or other means of checking against a trustworthy list to be sure that you have performed the necessary maintenance on schedule.
- Check headlight, brake light and turn signal function.
- Check fluid levels, including brake, power steering, coolant, transmission, and windshield washer fluids.
- Inspect tires for air pressure, attached debris, proper tread depth and bulges.
- Clean vehicle, especially windows.
- Change engine oil and filter.
- Check air filter and replace if dirty.
- Inspect battery posts for corrosion and clean if necessary.
- Check engine and fan belts for cuts, fraying or signs of wear.
- Inspect exhaust pipe for cracks or holes.
- Inspect tire lug nuts to ensure they are securely seated.
TWICE A YEAR:
- Inspect brakes to ensure they are wearing evenly.
- Check spark plug wires for loose connections.
- Replace wiper blades, particularly if they show signs of wear or if they are leaving streaks on your windshield.
YEARLY (these are recommended to be performed by a professional):
- Inspect timing belt.
- Perform a radiator flush.
- Install new spark plugs.
- Replace brake pads.
A little bit of maintenance will take you a long way down the road, so join us in resolving to keep safe and happy all year long.Written by: