The Perfect New Year's Resolutions for a Car Owner

December 22, 2017

With a new year comes a new opportunity to change how you take care of yourself and those around you. But while you're working on your new fitness plan, don't forget that your vehicle requires some regular attention to operate at its best as well. Here are some simple resolutions you can tie in at the start of the new year to help focus on bettering yourself and your ride!


Set Aside an Emergency Fund for Your Car

If the unthinkable happens and your car is suddenly in need of repair, it's best to have some money set aside. Repairs can be costly and unexpected. Setting aside as much as you can for emergency car trouble helps lessen the sting on your pocketbook. 

Change Out Your Air Filter

During the course of a long winter, your car's air filter might be asked to work overtime. If you live in an area where road crews are frequently putting down salt on the road, a lot of residue from that salt can make its way into your air filter. When your air filter is clogged, it can dramatically reduce your fuel efficiency. At the same time, these filters are easy to replace, so go ahead and give yours a quick glance so your car can breathe easier long into the year ahead.

Check Your Fluids

Yes, you should check your engine oil on a regular basis, but there's more to car maintenance than that. Your car has various other fluids aside from oil, including fluids for the transmission, cooling system, brake fluid and even maybe power steering. Check for any leakage that may have happened since your last inspection and replace any fluids as needed to make sure your vehicle is operating at 100 percent.

Keep a Record of All Services and Repairs

Keeping a record of your oil changes, parts purchased and maintenance performed will not only make it easier to know when your next service is due, but will also help you keep track of part warranties and may even add value to your vehicle should you decide to sell it or trade it in. RepairPal even has a system to help called MyCar – upload receipts and keep notes about your vehicle – all in one place.

Replace Those Old Windshield Wipers

The arrival of the new year often brings with it two of the harshest months of weather your vehicle will experience out on the open road. Your windshield wipers will lose durability as they battle the elements, and if it's been a while since you've installed a fresh pair, your vehicle might not be ready to tackle Mother Nature's wrath. If you notice visible streaking or that it takes several attempts for the blades to actually wipe water away, treat your car to a fresh set of wipers right away.

Resolve to Know Your Car Better

Learn a little more about your car! Know your car's maintenance schedule and talk to other owners about issues that arise. Have a particular roadblock you're trying to solve? Check out the RepairPal Questions page. Wondering about problems other owners of your car have reported? Take a look at our Problems section to see what the buzz is about – you might be able to catch an issue before it happens!

Replace That Cracked Windshield

Cracked windshields hamper a driver's ability to see what's ahead. Resolve to have that windshield replaced in 2018. Check local auto glass shops to see if they have any upcoming promotions or deals and compare rates to help save money.

Have Your Tires Rotated and Get an Alignment  

Are tire rotations even necessary? One word: yes. You should have your tires rotated from front to back to ensure even wear. An alignment check should be performed every year. How can you tell you're in need of an alignment? Your vehicle might be drifting or "pulling" to one side or your steering wheel might appear off center while you're driving.

Make this upcoming year the one where you take car ownership seriously. Prioritizing your car for the year ahead will not only make you a better, more responsible car owner, but can save you some serious dough. 

Happy New Year!

About the Author

Kimberlea Buczeke is an automotive expert at RepairPal, the leading online source of auto repair resources and estimates. With many ASE Master certified mechanics on staff who have decades of experience, RepairPal knows all the fine points of car repair.

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