It’s true that regular vehicle maintenance improves fuel efficiency and produces less vehicle emissions. So, to help the environment and to save a little cash at the same time, please have your car maintenance scheduled today! One would think that protecting our ozone layer for the future health of our kids would encourage people to not leave an imprint, but some states don’t even require an annual vehicle emissions inspection. It’s also true that some cars just last longer than other cars, no matter what. I truly believe that, if the World comes to an end, the only things that will survive will be cockroaches and Hondas.

Since you can find just about anything on the internet, most people don’t even read their car manual. I am guilty of this as well. I haven’t even broken the factory seal on my manual and my car is 14 years old. One never knows if you may want to sell the manual on ebay and you certainly don’t want coffee stains on it. Yesterday, I was fishing out a french fry from between the seats and I found a bar for a lumbar support! When purchasing a new car or a used car that comes with an extended warranty, certain items won’t be covered if you don’t do the scheduled maintenance.

Here are just a few items that you may want to observe to keep your investment in top running order:

• Alignment: Annual alignment checks are your best way to maximize tire life and ensure that your car performs on the road as it should. Red flags are uneven tire wear, shaking and the car pulling to one side.
• Fuel economy: Speeding, aggressive and jerky driving can reduce gas mileage as much as 33% on the highway and 5% on city streets.
• Vision: Extreme weather is wearing on wiper blades. Check them every 6 months.
• Brakes: Check them every time you get an oil change to minimize cost of future repairs.
• Gas Cap: A loose gas cap can trigger the “check engine” or “service engine soon” lights.
• Odor: A must smell could be caused by a dirty or clogged air filter. Checking it will prevent HVAC issues. Low coolant can overheat your engine and will have a salty odor.
• Fluids: Have all fluid levels checked and topped off when getting your oil changed.
• Battery: Have your battery tested every fall. Batteries should last at least 3 years if properly checked.
• Oil: Have your oil changed regularly to prevent costly engine repairs.
• Air Filter: Have it checked when your oil is changed.
• Lights: Have them checked for visibility and brightness.
• Spare Tire: Always have your spare tire checked for proper inflation when oil is changed.

Following these tips will ensure that your car will remain on the road long after your own expiration date.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Car Maintenance – Comedy Defensive Driving