It’s that time of the year where we all make goals to be a better version of ourselves—a better person (including fitness goals), a better son/daughter, better worker, better spouse. How about becoming a better car owner?
This 2017, we should take good care of our steadfast car, after all, they bear the daily traffic grind with us and whom we entrust our lives as we travel. Here are 8 suggested New Year’s resolutions for the car owner:
1. Clean the inside and outside of the car at least once a week. We spend almost as much time in the car (thanks to the horrible traffic) as we do in our homes and at the office, so it’s best to keep it nice and tidy. Not only is cleaning the most visible sign that you care about your ride, but it ensures the longevity of your car. Fading paint, rust, and what not can easily be prevented. Keeping the interior clean and fresh is also beneficial to your health as excessive dust and dirt can cause allergic reactions or even harbor bacteria and fungus.
2. Check the oil regularly. We can’t stress it enough, but oil is considered to be the life blood of your engine. As the only barrier between metal parts, changing oil prevents premature wear-and-tear, saving you from shocking repair bills in the future. Check your engine oil level at least once a week and change them based on the interval written in your owner’s manual (it can be anywhere between 5,000 to 15,000 kilometers). Regardless, use a reputable brand that means your engine’s minimum requirements.
3. Check the engine air filter. A dirty air filter will cause your car to consume more fuel. Apart from taxing your engine, particulates can, in the worst case, get into the engine costing you a pretty penny. Like changing your oil, check your owner’s manual on the best intervals to have this done. It’s also pretty easy to do it DIY (Do-It-Yourself), so there’s no excuse about not having the time to bring it the shop.
4. Check the electrical system. Modern cars rely on an ever complex electrical system which means you have to make sure your battery, alternator, and the like are all working properly. Check for corrosion at the terminals and address them quickly. In addition, check things like spark plugs as well. You’re lucky if your vehicle has long-life plugs, but it’s still good to check their condition every now and then.
5. Change bad bulbs. It’s important that your lights: headlights, tail lamps, brake lights, signal lights, and reverse lights are all in good working conditions. This is primarily for safety because this is the only means for other drivers to see you (and in the case of brake lights and signal lights, anticipate your movement) at night or during bad weather.
6. Check the tire pressures at least once a month and rotate tires every 10,000 kilometers. Incorrect tire pressure can cause poor braking, instability, poor fuel mileage, and so on. It can also cause premature wear-and-tear on your suspension components as well. In addition, rotating your tires ensures that the tires wear out evenly making sure you’ve maximized them before being replaced. And on the subject of replacing tires, just like your engine oil, go for a reputable brand.
7. Change your cabin filter every 30,000 kilometers. This is often the most neglected part of an automobile, but changing your aircon cabin filter is a must for two things. First, it reduces the stress on your A/C’s condenser and evaporator saving you potentially big repairs in the future. Second, it filters the air you breathe inside. While you’re at it, once your vehicle hits 3 three years old, have your air conditioning system checked for leaks and cleaned.
8. Register your car. Shockingly, but yes, some people do forget this and end up paying penalties. While you’re at it, make sure your car is covered by insurance as well. This saves you time and headaches when dealing with road mishaps or accidents.