2019 Vehicle Maintenance Resolutions

It’s hard to believe that January is already here. In thinking about how to start off 2019, I began reflecting on starting fresh and how so many of us tend to make New Year resolutions. For me, it takes me back to my coaching days. Every year at the start of the season, for many reasons, no matter what the kid’s skill level was, we would begin with the basics. For some it gave them a “been there, done that” feeling. For most, they understood that starting with the basics and working through these skills would only sharpen their current skills and prep them to perfect and increase their skills beyond where they currently were. When I relate it to automotive care, it reminds me that preventative maintenance is key to the longevity of our vehicles.

Chances are your car is the second largest investment you have, next to your home. Like your home, your car requires care to keep it performing, along with giving you lasting value and the enjoyment you expect. A properly maintained car will give you the greatest return on investment and will help you to avoid more costly repairs.

The first step toward proper care and maintenance is understanding your car and it’s needs. With that being said, let’s start this year with setting a goal to care for our second greatest investment. Let me walk you through some of the basics so you can sharpen your skills and car care knowledge.

The first step is caring for your car is regular oil and filter services. Over the years we have had many clients with many vehicles that may not be driven on a daily basis. There is misconception about recommended vehicle services for most consumers. We are inundated with commercials on mileage and for the average driver, that is the case. For those of us that have a second, third or more cars, maintenance needs to be done on time. For this reasons, we always schedule appointments by mileage interval OR time interval.

There are many reasons to have the oil services performed on a regular basis. The number one reason would be that oil breaks down with both heat and time. There are more conditions that affect your engine oil, I will go more into those reasons in a future article. This month I want to focus on vehicle maintenance. There are a few key items that should be checked periodically, some are so easy that we can do them ourselves.

Those easy items that we can monitor are:

  • Dashboard indicator lights
  • Tire inflation and condition
  • Engine oil level
  • Windshield washer fluid

Some of the maintenance items that should be checked by a professional every 5,000 miles OR every 6 months are:

  • Transmission fluid level and condition
  • Battery and battery cables
  • Belts
  • Air filter
  • Exhaust
  • Hoses
  • Lights
  • Power steering fluid
  • Chassis lubrication
  • Wiper Blades

Other items related to caring for your car can be inspected by your Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certified technician during your periodic maintenance visits. Following your vehicles service interval schedule and guidelines is an easy way of staying on track. A much easier way is setting yourself a reminder for a bi-annual service. I tell our clients to use dates that are easy, their birthday, anniversary, a child’s birth-date or something similar. Treat your car to a birthday treat and it will continue to give back to you with high performance and low cost to own longevity. This year, as you are setting goal dates, don’t forget to add your car to the list of things to add to your calendar. Until next month… Wishing you all the best in 2019.