Keeping your car well taken care of goes hand in hand with how long a life your vehicle has. It’s easy to just let it go and take forever to get oil changes done or tire rotation. Things like headlight renewal probably don’t ever get done because they don’t affect how the car is running. But believe it or not, it does make a difference. There are two kinds of people when it comes to cars, those who take care of their cars and those who do not. Let’s take a look at these two people. We’ll call them Joe and Renee.
Joe loves his car. It’s not fancy, it’s not expensive but it’s his and he paid for it with his own money that he worked for and he appreciates it. Every 3,000 miles he gets an oil change. Every other oil change, he rotates the tires. Every six months he has a full tune up done where he has his mechanic check that everything is in working order.
In the in between times, Joe works on the little things. He keeps the car washed because he knows that dirt and dust can eat through paint. He dries it because he knows a wet car can encourage rust. He is constantly checking his tire tread and pressure to see when he’s going to need new tires and not allowing his car to run on flat or bald ones.
Joe even gets out his headlight renewal kit because he wants his car to look nice and cared for. Using a professional headlight restoration kit helps his vehicle to not only look good but allows for proper lighting which makes driving in the dark safer.
Renee, on the other hand, doesn’t do these things. She does appreciate her car. In fact, it’s the exact minivan she wanted after having her third child. It makes it so much easier to get everyone in the car and she’s glad she has it. However, as a mother of three, she often lets oil changes go to long in between because she dreads the non-child friendly waiting rooms of car shops. Likewise, tire rotations and tune ups often go until something starts to sound funny under the hood.
Headlight cleaning kits? No thanks. The headlights might be a little foggy but headlight renewal sounds expensive and unnecessary when the kids need new shoes.
Running through a car wash every now and again is doable and even having the kids help vacuum all the snacks and junk out of the van can be a fun chore. Further than that pretty much goes out the window.
Renee does have a look at the tires every time they get in the van to make sure they aren’t flat but she always forgets to check the tires. When a tire is needed, it’s an extreme necessity and she ends up having to run to the nearest used tire shop and just get the one replaced as inexpensively as possible. She always swears that she’ll get all four replaced soon but soon never comes.
The problem with being like Joe is that not everybody has that kind of time, money or availability. The problem with being like Renee is that your car is the one that pays the price. So, here are a couple ideas for how to find a happy medium when it comes to taking care of your car.
- Look for Groupons for headlight renewal and have it done for you for cheap.
- Set aside $20 a paycheck for your tires until they need to be replaced and have brand new ones put on that will last you for several years.
- Schedule your oil changes while the kids are in school or activities and get your tire rotations and fluid top ups all done at the same time.
- Even better, find a drive through oil change shop.
- Find a mechanic that you trust, that is willing to work with your schedule.
If you can do the big things that are required to take care of your car, the little things will follow naturally and you’ll end up taking a certain type of pride in your vehicle.