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7 New Year's Resolutions for Every Car Owner

December 26, 2018

With a new year comes an opportunity to change how you take care of yourself. But while you're working on your new fitness plan, don't forget that your car could use some love to keep it running perfectly. Here are seven simple automotive resolutions for 2019.

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1. Create an emergency fund

Cars don't always give us a lot of warning before something goes wrong, so it's best to have some money set aside. Repair bills can add up quickly. Creating a pool of money, say $500 or $1,000 over the course of the year, will help offset the cost any unexpected problems. 

2. 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, a lot of residue can make its way into the filter. When it gets clogged, it can dramatically reduce your fuel efficiency. These filters are easy to replace, so go ahead and give yours a quick glance to help your vehicle breathe easier well into the new year.

3. 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 other fluids for the transmission, cooling system, brakes and maybe even power steering. Check for any leakage that may have happened since your last inspection and refill any fluids as needed to make sure your car is operating in top form.

4. Keep a record of services and repairs

Keeping track of your oil changes, parts purchased and repairs 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 car. 

5. Replace the windshield wipers

The arrival of the new year often brings some of the harshest weather all year. 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 visibility will suffer. If you notice streaking or poor performance, treat your car to a fresh set of wipers.

6. Fix that cracked windshield

Cracked windshields hamper your ability to see what's ahead. Resolve to have that windshield replaced in 2019. Check local auto glass shops to see if they have any promotions or deals and compare rates to help save money.

7. Get a tire rotation and alignment  

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

RepairPal is 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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