5 New Year's resolutions for car owners
The New Year is almost upon us. A time of reflection and planning for the year ahead: many of you will be making New Year's resolutions to return new and improved in 2016. But, one thing that you may not have considered – something that could keep you safer and save you a stack of cash in 2016 – is your car.
From problem diagnosis to driving skills, there are a host of small actions that you can take to maximise your potential on the road next year. So, why not read through our top 5 ideas for resolutions and set off in to 2016 with a new and improved motoring outlook?
1. Keep your cabin clean
It’s easy to tune out cabin debris when you spend a lot of time on the road. Whether it’s a build-up of fast food wrappers, the lingering smell of cigarettes or that mucky patch where the dog lies, your passengers will quickly assess the condition of your car (and what that says about you).
Keeping your car clean requires no technical knowledge. Dedicate a weekend afternoon to vacuuming all the soft furnishings, dusting off the dashboard and emptying out any detritus. If car bins are insufficient to hold all the rubbish you accumulate, keep a bathroom-sized bin in the passenger foot well and empty it often. Or, save yourself time and hassle, and book your car in for a regular detailing service at your nearest Perrys dealership!
2. Tune in to mechanical warning signs
Whether you can hear a soft coo from the transmission, a knocking from the wheels or a distant, high-pitched squeal from the brakes, don’t ignore the warning signs that something bigger is going on under the bonnet.
This year, it’s time to stop putting off mending those nagging little car health concerns, and book in for at least two services per year (including a winter health check). Not only will this assure you peace of mind, it may also just save you from forking out thousands on mechanic’s bills later on when something goes very, very wrong.
3. Make sure your car is well hydrated
To keep your engine in good working order for longer and avoid any unexpected motorway mishaps, resolve to dedicate 10 minutes each week to checking all the fluid levels in your car.
Coolant, the liquid that keeps your engine within operational temperature parameters, should be topped up with anti-freeze each winter to ensure that it can keep flowing to where it is needed. Similarly, you won’t get very far without enough oil to grease all the gears. Wiper fluid and air conditioning may seem comparatively non-essential, but making sure these are topped up will help you keep your eyes on the road and stop the cabin from overheating come summer.
4. Check your tyres regularly
In contact with the road in all weathers and conditions, your tyres take a battering over time and are key to keeping you on the road. Whether it results in a loss of grip, slow puncture or (worst of all) a tyre blowout, neglecting your tyres can be a recipe for disaster.
That’s why this New Year, you should make a resolution to take the simple steps required to ensure that your tyres remain in optimal condition. Check the air pressure at least once per month when filling up with petrol or visiting the car wash. Also, you can use this time to check tread depth and look out for any bulges or cracks on the tyre surface.
5. Swat up on new driving tips
Whether you passed your test last week or last century, there’s probably new information out that will affect the way you drive. For instance, did you know that the approved positioning for hands on the steering wheel is now nine o’clock and three o’clock (just like Formula 1 drivers), rather than ten o’clock and two o’clock?
Details like recommended stopping distances, how to drive efficiently and effective driving techniques in different weather conditions are updated continually from new research, so it helps to stay tuned to reputable sources such as the AA and RAC – as well as Perrys’ blogs (of course)!
Improving your skills as a driver doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Follow these simple resolutions in 2016 for a more convenient and cost-effective way to optimise your driving technique and maintenance schedule, helping you to stay on the road and ultimately stay safe.