For most my life, I’ve been immensely lucky. Throughout my young adulthood, I’ve obtained great grades, worked exciting jobs, cultivated long-lasting relationships, and adopted numerous useful hobbies. In fact, there isn’t one thing I’d go back and change if I had to. Well….let’s take that back. There is one thing.
From the day I first sat in a car and started the ignition, I’ve had a stroke of poor automobile luck following me. Though I’ve never been in a wreck, I’ve managed to diminish two great vehicles: a Volkswagen Bug and a Toyota Corolla.
In the Volkswagen, I once accidentally ran over a cinderblock in the middle of the road and busted my oil pan. A month later, a friend of mine backed into the passenger door. Moreover, the brakes would occasionally lock up. I always spilt coffee all over the seats. The air conditioning eventually gave out, and to my great dismay, the check engine remained permanently on. When it was on its last leg, I decided it was time to trade it in. I had caused that car enough pain.
When I was finally free of my Volkswagen, I moved on to a Toyota Corolla, but my bad luck only worsened. In my first month of driving the Corolla, somebody backed into my car in a parking lot and drove off. Two weeks later, a homeless man in my neighborhood keyed the driver door. (My auto insurance company wasn’t too happy with me after those two incidences.) Two months after my car was keyed, I got a flat tire. Overtime, the car diminished in quality and I developed an immense amount of shame. Why after the last vehicle had I let this one fall apart so quickly?
In the midst of my shame, a realization came to mind: ‘What if I tried to bring my car back to life?’ No, I’m not suggesting I was praying my car would sprout legs and grow vocal cords; instead, I wanted to improve the condition of my car so that I could feel proud of my vehicle. For months, I began investing a great deal of energy and a tiny bit of cash into improving the condition of my Corolla. Over time, my bad luck diminished and my car came back to life.
I’m not suggesting that your car will return to perfection once you start working on it, but I do believe there are a number of things a person can do to help them improve the condition of their vehicles. Below are three tips to use to bring your worn-down car back to life. Not only will these tips help you maintain the quality of your car and keep your insurance costs low, they’ll also help restore confidence in your vehicle and yourself.
When a Problem Arises, Address it Now
When a car senses a problem coming on, it flicks on a light. Most drivers notice these warning lights the moment they come on. So why don’t they anything about them? The truth is most people are procrastinators and would rather allow the problem to sit and worsen then fix it right away.
Here’s a word of advice: When your car tells you there is a problem, there is a problem. By delaying the inevitable, you only make the problem worse. If you notice a light in your car flick on, call the dealership or a local automobile repair company in the area and schedule an appointment to bring your vehicle in. Once they inform you of the problem, you can decide how you want to handle it from there.
Don’t Let Your Car Turn Into A Dumpster on Wheels
A car is a tempting place to use for storage. However, there is a world of difference between keeping one or two books in your car and hoarding garbage. I remember I would sometimes get lazy and leave my Starbucks coffees in the holders, thinking to myself, and ‘I’ll deal with it tomorrow.’ Sometimes days or weeks went by before I ever threw out those coffee cups.
Leaving items in your car inevitably dirties up your vehicle and diminishes the respect you have for your vehicle. Treat your car like you would your room: a space you live in. Clean up your car after each trip and it’ll quickly become a habit. Also, shoot for getting your car washed at least once every two weeks. You’ll notice a difference right away.
Don’t Delay an Oil Change
So many individuals go thousands of miles without getting their oil changed. It’s easy to do since there aren’t immediate consequences, but keep this bad habit up for too long and your car will suffer. Oil changes keep your car running smoothly and operating well for years to come, but avoiding them will do the opposite. Keep track of your vehicle’s mileage and get an oil change early if you have to. Though it isn’t emphasized enough, oil changes are small endeavors that keep your vehicle going for the long haul.
Vehicles are an instrumental part of our lives. Some people utilize them as modes of transportation; others like to use them as fashion statements. Whatever your car is to you, it’s important to keep it running well to extend its life and keep your auto insurance costs low. These three tips will help bring your vehicle slowly back to life.
Susan Wells is a freelance blogger who enjoys writing about automotive and health news, technology, lifestyle and personal finance. She often researches and writes about automobile insurance, helping consumers find the best car insurance quotes online.