Well, it seems another year is coming to an end. And of course, that makes it the perfect time to think of all things we might do a little differently next year. Whether we admit to it or not, we all make resolutions of a kind. So why should your car be any different? Do we not roll through every day trying to get from one place to the next without getting all banged up. Do we not shudder when we hit massive potholes in the street? Are we not loved and waxed by people who care for us?
With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of resolutions for the New Year. A selection of things I’d like to try and do better. However, as a car—as your car—I’m going to need a bit of help from you to get through my list.
Number 1 – Always keeping my gas tank half full.
I know it doesn’t matter too much in the summer, but it’s a good habit to build up for our cold Ottawa winters. And while it can be fun to try and sputter into a gas station at the last possible moment, it’s doing terrible things to my engine. Not to mention, my self-esteem when I don’t make it.
Number 2 – Keeping an eye on my tire tread.
No one likes breaking in new tires. They’re all stiff, and they don’t respond quite the way the old ones did. However, having tires that grip the road keeps me from losing control and getting myself into serious trouble. And, if I’m honest, new tires do make me look pretty sharp.
Number 3 – Stay on top of my brake fluid.
I know it’s not something that needs to be changed very often. Although, remembering to check my brake fluid during oil changes is an easy way to keep an eye on it. And remember, having it flushed out at the first sign of “squishy brakes” is really going to help me stop when it’s critical.
Number 4 – Keep me looking my best, inside and out.
At least once a month I should be given a good cleaning. I know life happens, and it can be hard to make time for a thorough detailing. However, regularly vacuuming out those wayward french fries (from our secret trip to McDonald’s). Cleaning the spills out of my cupholders, so they don’t turn into sticky goo. And giving my panels a good scrub to keep the dirt from scratching my paint are all excellent for helping me keep my value for years to come. Dropping me off for a day at the detailing spa every now and then would also be pretty great!
Number 5 – Maintain proper air pressure in my tires.
No matter if it’s too low or too high, having the wrong tire pressure can make my tires more likely to blow out or get a flat. Not to mention, improper tire pressure causes them to wear considerably faster. Good tires, appropriately inflated, should last me around 80,000 kilometres. No one likes having to swap their tires early due to poor inflation management.
Number 6 – Pay more attention to funny sounds, smells, or vibrations.
I’m going to level with you, I know it’s inconvenient to have to go for a check-up. However, if something seems not quite right, we’ve got to make a better effort to pop in and get it checked out. Leaving it too long can be dangerous, and could even make the fix more expensive.
Number 7 – Get my oil changed more regularly.
Every year, I insist I’m going to do better on this one, but this is the year. Oil is my lifeblood, and when it dries out, I risk causing myself serious injury. Also, no more cheap fluids, it’s time I invest in better quality oils. I’m worth it, and it will keep me running my best for many more years.
Number 8 – Rotate my tires every 12,000 kilometres.
It all comes down to getting the most out of my tires. Rotating them ensures they wear evenly, and it’s a great chance to check the pressure and rebalance them, so I’m driving at my best.
Number 9 – Change my air filter every 45,000 kilometres.
My air filter is like my lungs. Trying to run with a lung full of soot is never going to be a good idea. And, in my case, a dirty air filter is going to hamper my acceleration, make me less efficient, and potentially damage my combustion chamber. It also makes me sorta cranky.
Number 10 – Putting Rain-X on to keep my windows clear.
This handy product can be easily sprayed on all my windows to maintain visibility at it’s best even when it’s raining cats and dogs. It literally repels rain, making it easier to see.
Number 11 – Keep a car repair log.
It always seems when I go in for a service that I can’t remember when the last time I had something changed was. I guess if I’m going to a great shop, they will have all my records on file. However, it’s still good to help me plan out regular service intervals, and budget for more significant items.
Number 12 – Finally, get those Weather Tech Floor Mats.
I’ve been putting it off for years now, but 2020 is when I get this done! I know it will help preserve my carpets, and also protect your pant hems from getting ruined. I just haven’t made time to order them yet, even though SIPAN Tire can have them in, right quick, for me.
Number 13 – Keep a better watch on my Spark Plugs.
Those little guys are so critical to my ability to move, and yet I often forget they’re even there. In 2020, I’m going to check on them every 45,000 kilometres, and commit to having them changed every 95,000. This is the year!
Number 14 – I’m going to get regular check-ups.
It’s so easy just to assume everything is fine, and then one day, we’re stalled on the side of the highway waiting to be towed away. How embarrassing! This year, I’m at least going to schedule two check-ups. One before the summer, and the next before the winter. If I plan it right, I can get it done at the same time I’m swapping my tires for the season. At least this way, I know, I’m all set for whatever the next season throws at me.
Number 15 – I’m going to be better about sun exposure.
I love the summer. The driving is fantastic, the weather is perfect. Sometimes, on a beautiful summer day, I just want to road trip until my tires fall off. However, parking in the sun for too long can be bad for my paint, not to mention the effects it can have on my interior. This year, I’m going to make more of an effort to park in the shade. And come to think of it, I’m going to pick myself up one of those fancy windshield reflectors.
Number 16 – Get new wiper blades.
I know it can seem like a bit of a luxury, but when the rain is pouring, or the snow is flying, we’re both going to wish we made the switch. If you’ve been wondering about what to get me for Christmas this year, windshield wiper blades are definitely at the top of my list!
Number 17 – Have a proper car alarm with an immobilizer installed.
Let’s face it, you can’t be too careful. One day you might come out to take me for a drive, and I won’t be there. And sure, in time, you’ll learn to love another car. But think of me, on a container ship to the far east. I don’t even have a passport. I don’t want to be shipped overseas by criminals! Come to think of it, maybe we should get a club for the steering wheel too.
Number 18 – Get that emergency kit for the trunk.
I hope to have to ask you to use it, but having some roadside cones, flares, and emergency supplies in the trunk will ensure we’re both safe in the event something does go wrong.
Number 19 – Wax my exterior more often.
I know it feels like a chore, and let’s be honest, I’m not doing this myself. However, a gentle wax, at least every three months, is going to help keep my paint looking its sharpest.
Number 20 – Get some wheel cleaner and use it regularly.
Let’s face it, neither of us likes having brake dust on my beautiful rims. The trick to keeping it from being a problem is to buy proper a wheel cleaner and keep up with it every few weeks. By preventing it from building up for too long, it keeps the job easy and my wheels pretty.
All in all, this list doesn’t seem too tricky, but the truth of the matter is, I can’t get any of it done without your help. So, if you’ve been struggling to come up with a list of resolutions of your own, maybe we can just share mine.