How to avoid locking your keys in your car

Learning to avoid locking your keys in your car is the wish of many drivers ... Photo by CC user  Masi27185 on English Wikipedia

Of all the misfortunes which can befall you while driving, locking your keys in your car is certainly one of the most annoying. Aside from wasting time and money, it makes one appear to be incompetent. Once this happens to you for the first time, you’ll never want it to happen to you again.

Even if you have no problems calling up a car locksmith specialist whenever your absent-mindedness rears its ugly head, taking the time to adopt the following habits will help keep these embarrassing incidents to a minimum.

1) Never lock the doors without having your car keys in hand

If there is one habit that has served the author of this article well over the years, it has been the adoption of the following practice: never lock any door without having its respective key in your hands.

It doesn’t matter if you swear that your keys are in your coat pocket – take them out and place them in your hands as you lock the door from the inside.

On occasion, you’ll find your keys are not where you think they are. In these instances, you’ll find them on the passenger side seat, or in the ignition. Oops.

Once you get used to this protocol, the number of situations where you’ll have to call upon a car locksmith Perth will drop drastically.

2) Only lock the doors using a fob

The development of modern car systems have made fob-controlled locks a ubiquitous feature in all but the most basic of models.

As such, you can adopt the policy of only locking your doors from the outside using your fob. Since they are attached to your keys, this makes it impossible for them to be inside the vehicle while you are securing it.

Even if the batteries die within the fob (get them replaced at an auto parts store ASAP when this happens), you’ll still have your physical keys present to lock and unlock your vehicle.

3) Stow spare keys in your house/purse/pocket

Don’t trust yourself still? Add another layer of security by going to a key cutter and having replicas of your car keys made.

Make enough so your partner has two sets, one to hide in the kitchen, and an extra set to put in your pocket or purse. With all these redundant keys, you’ll have a backup even if you commit a massive brain fart and end up locking the main set in your car.

4) Have a locksmith in your phone’s contact list

Despite all the measures described above, Murphy’s Law will sometimes supersede all these safeguards. Example: you lose your spare key in the laundry one day and then proceed to lock your keys in your car hours later.

Guard against this by having a trusted car locksmith on speed dial. Find their number of a car locksmith Perth and store it in your contacts before you find yourself in this situation. If you don’t, you’ll inevitably find yourself out of data or be too far from your provider’s tower to try to search for a number on the fly.

With a variety of tools designed to pick the lock of almost every make and model on the road, your friendly neighbourhood car locksmith will be able to save you from this awkward situation within minutes of their arrival.

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Buying for These Things Will Boost Your Mood!

Science has proven that shopping can lift up your spirits. In a recent survey by TNS Global on behalf of Ebates.com, around 52 percent of respondents said they’ve engaged in “retail therapy,” the act of shopping and spending to improve one’s mood. Shopping for many people can be like a mini-mental vacation, and this has been consistent for both men and women. So if you are feeling down, here are some purchases that can lift your mood:

Small Purchase – A Song Download

Music has positive physical and mental effects on our bodies. As we listen, music works on the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for controlling blood pressure and heartbeat, as well as the limbic system, which is responsible for feelings and emotions. A review of 23 studies in 2009 involving almost 1,500 people found music helped to reduce blood pressure, and anxiety in heart disease patients. Music can benefit psychological wellbeing, too. Research from the University of Missouri found that upbeat music can have a very positive effect on our wellbeing. And, you feel better even if you are listening to sad music. So for the price of a music download (less than 99 cents) you can feel great while singing along with your favorite song.

Medium Purchase – A Dog

Ask a dog owner, if having a dog is worth it, and you will almost always get a resounding yes. Ask them why, and you will hear that having them around makes the owner happy. The social support provided by pets is comparable to that from a fellow family member. One of the reasons for these happy feelings is that dogs fulfill the basic human need to touch. Even hardened criminals in prison have shown long-term changes in their behavior after interacting with dogs, many of them experiencing mutual affection for the first time. Stroking, hugging, or otherwise touching a loving animal can rapidly calm and soothe us when we’re stressed or anxious. The companionship of a pet can also ease loneliness, and most dogs are a great stimulus for healthy exercise, which can substantially boost your mood and ease depression. Dogs can instill a greater sense of self-worth and self-esteem in their owners. They make the perfect companion and lift your mood.

Big PurchaseA Car

Buying a car seems like a long way to go to improve your mood, but think of it as making a big purchase once to have mood lifter for many years. Driving is an awesome experience. Once you develop the automatic, intuitive way of switching indicator lights, interchanging clutch/brake/accelerator pedals so smoothly you barely notice it yourself; listening to the revs on the edge of your conscious to know when to switch gears; master the traffic rules and how to use them to your advantage and the way traffic flows; you become a part of a single organism that is the car with the driver, with your hands and legs becoming extensions of its gears and axles, making the complex mechanism fulfill its transportation task impeccably.

Your see hear and feel everything and fly along the road without a care in the world. This is the thrill you can get from driving a car and why it is so good at lifting your mood. The great part of it, is that you do not need to purchase a high-priced brand new Mercedes, you can buy a used Ford car and get these same feelings. So make the purchase and feel great about it.

So next time you are feeling down, don’t feel bad about wanting to spend your way out of it. Retail therapy purchases are overwhelmingly beneficial at leading to mood boosts with no regrets or guilt.

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4 Tips in Shopping for That Next Vehicle

If you’ve purchased a new car or truck in the past, you certainly know how nervous a time that can be.

Unless you are rather well off financially, you will more than likely end up making car payments. As such, the rate of interest you will pay of course varies, along with factoring in how much money you put down at the initial signing. Always be on top of your financial well-being (see more below) before signing any new vehicle paperwork.

There is also the possibility that you will be one of those unfortunate consumers who ends up driving off the lot with a lemon.

Although most consumers end up getting the new car or truck they want, one that ultimately serves them for many years to come, some unfortunate individuals are stuck with a disaster.

So, how can you go about doing everything correctly in shopping for that next vehicle?

Related: Safest cars and trucks

Be That Informed Consumer

When it comes to increasing your odds of getting the best vehicle at the best value, it all starts with being an informed consumer.

Tip #1- Know the basics

In order to put yourself in the best situation when buying a new car or truck, be sure to know about as much as possible regarding the vehicle you’re interested in. Things like what kind of fuel efficiency it gets, how it is rated in terms of safety, and whether or not you need all the bells and whistles that come with it. With a simple Google search, you can oftentimes find out that kind of information and much more, so use the Internet to your advantage.

Tip #2 – Know the dealer

Unless you have your heart set on dealing with one car dealership only, you will likely visit a number of them. Prior to making your rounds, do some background searches on the dealers themselves. This gives you an advantage in knowing what to expect before you even walk in. When looking to buy a new Honda, be that educated consumer when you start to discuss new vehicles and prices.

Turn to Family and Friends

Tip #3 – Know how others faired

There is a good chance that some outside family members and/or friends have purchased new vehicles within the last couple of years. As a result, lean on them for their experiences, especially the ones that were quite positive. In doing so, they could steer you to a particular dealership where first-rate service is the norm. You might even end up securing a little discount when you mention one’s name to a salesperson. By knowing one or more people who successfully purchased vehicles from a specific dealership, that dealer may want to keep the customer pipeline running, thereby offering new customers a better deal.

Tip #4 – Know your limits

Finally, the last thing you want to do is get in over your head financially. If you do that, you could end up dealing with financial headaches for years to come. Before you set foot in the dealership, sit down and crunch the financial numbers, seeing where you are best-served in buying your next new vehicle. Lastly, see what kinds of deals might be available depending on the time of year you go car shopping. If you wait to certain times of the year, you may find dealers wanting to move certain inventory off their lots, giving you a great opportunity.

Buying that next new car or truck shouldn’t be an experience that sends shivers down your spine.

With some research and a smart head on your shoulders, you can drive off with the best possible vehicle today.

You might also enjoy: Tips for buying a used car

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What is GVM and How Does it Affect your Driving?

Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) is the total weight of the vehicle, which includes all the passengers, the luggage and equipment, and even the fuel. This will be very different to the actual weight of the vehicle itself, and if you go overboard with the accessories, you could be adding so much extra weight that stability becomes an issue. All Australian vehicles will have both the gross weight of the vehicle (as sold) and the GVM, which would be displayed in Tonnes and kilogrammes.

Know your GVM

If you’ve just purchased the truck, then you do not need to concern yourself with the GVM, but if you are planning lots of heavy duty add ons, then the weight of your truck is likely to significantly increase. Improved suspension help when driving a heavy vehicle, and if you are in WA, check out http://www.westcoastsuspension.com.au/, who are experts in off road suspension for every environment.

Related: Could 2017 be a record year for auto sales?

Stay Within the Weight Limits

The vehicle manufacturer will have extensively tested the truck, and would know the safe limits of gross weight, which should never be exceeded for obvious reasons. If you are driving a truck that is close to the maximum weight, upgrading the suspension is essential, and West Coast Suspensions are the ideal people to talk to.

Weight Distribution

The handling of a vehicle will be much better if the weight has been evenly distributed, and generally, heavier objects should be centrally located, and the lower the better, as stability will be affected if you attach heavy objects to the roof rack. If, for example, you are carrying a lot of camping equipment, make sure it is correctly tied down, and also that it is as aerodynamic as possible. Waterproof rubber covers can be tailor made to give roof contents a dry base, even in the heaviest of rain, and try to keep things balanced, with not too much weight at one end, or on one side.

Weighbridges

These are everywhere and if your vehicle is fully loaded and ready for an extended trip into the wilderness, spend a few dollars and find out the exact weight of the fully loaded truck, and this will give you peace of mind, knowing that the GVM is within the limits.

Sluggish Response

If your truck is overloaded, the handling will become sluggish, and this will put extra strain on your suspension and chassis, along with much more work for the braking system, and if you have to negotiate any steep inclines, the weight of the vehicle is critical. Momentum increases with more weight, and this means you need more distance to effectively stop the vehicle, and if you feel the handling is not what it should be, consult a suspension expert, who can recommend a suitable upgrade.

The gross vehicle mass is something that should never be exceeded, and with evenly balancing the extra weight, your ride will always be solid and reliable. If you are in any doubt about this, talk to an expert, who can make sure everything is as it should be.

You might also enjoy: Things you should be excited about when buying a new car

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Vehicular Vigor – Things to Get Excited about When Buying a New Car

So, you’re buying a car! Whether it’s your first time or your fifth time, buying a car is an extremely exciting time. It means independence, ticking of an adult life goal, as well as that brand new car smell! Read on to discover what things you should be excited about – and what you should be wary of – next time you purchase a car.

  1. First timers

After your home, a car is one of the best necessary, albeit expensive, big ticket items that you will spend money on. Therefore, it’s worth putting the adequate amount of research into what you’re going to buy. If it’s your first time buying a car, you will have a few other considerations to think about.

For example, what is your budget?

Plus, don’t forget to factor in registration and insurance! As well as this, you need to establish whether you can actually drive the vehicle you are going to purchase on your current license. Do you have a manual or automatic license, and how many passengers can you legally drive? Lastly, your first car should be a safe and easy to drive car, especially as you are just starting out in your car owning journey.

  1. New or used?

No matter what type of car you decide to buy – new, used or perhaps even demo – you need to ensure you enlist a reliable dealer, such as Cars and Co. Let’s dissect these types of car options one by one.

Firstly, one of the most appealing things about buying a brand new car is that you can choose exactly the make, colour and model that you want. There is no compromise. However, you are going to be paying more than with the other options.

Secondly, a used car makes a lot of sense, especially for first time car buyers.

This is because a second hand car will stretch your budget much further, meaning you will usually get a better quality car for the amount of money you spend. If you’re still undecided on whether to purchase a new or used car, perhaps you should consider purchasing a demonstrator. There is the potential to save a lot of money and value in a demo car, which is the car that customers take for test drives.

  1. The buying process

The buying process is certainly exciting, however it does need to be treated with the appropriate care. Firstly, you need to research the car options you’re after, gathering all appropriate knowledge you need. Next, you should create a list of the exact car you want, as well as all the accessories and add-ons that you deem necessary.

From this point, you need to compare this list with your actual budget to see what you can actually afford. Then, you’ll be able to investigate your financing options in order to get a realistic quote and have an idea of your car buying timeline.

  1. Important considerations

Just before you go throwing your hand earned cash down on a vehicle, it’s imperative that you remember a number of important considerations. For example, ensure that you compare all models of the car that you are keen on buying. Usually, they will vary in safety, luxury, reliability and running costs. No matter your preference, safety is the one aspect that you should not compromise on.

Always aim for a 5-star safety rating when buying a car.

Next, you’ll think about whether you want to buy an automatic or a manual car. This will depend on your license as well as personal preference.

Lastly, if you have the budget for it, you can consider some lifestyle features. For instance, do you need space for outdoors items such as sports equipment or camping gear? Perhaps a good sound system is paramount for you? Think about what lifestyle features you may want and, if you can afford them, talk to your car dealer about purchasing a model that incorporates these.

With some adequate planning, buying a car can be a relatively painless and seamless process. If you stick to these 4 tips, not only will you be excited about the right things when buying a car, but you will understand the important things you need to consider, also. Good luck!

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Top Tips For Buying a Used Car

When it comes to buying a new car, deciding on purchasing a used car is a far more cost effective way to get the new auto that you want. There are many benefits of buying a used car over a new one, the initial costs, the fact that used cars hold value far better and you can also get a better car than what you perhaps could afford if you decided on buying new. There is a stigma attached with some used car salesmen so you need to ensure that you are fully prepared with how to go about buying your used car, here are some top tips for you to help you out.

Know What You Want

If you are going to buy a used car from a dealership, it is important that you have a firm idea of what you are after before entering , simply turning up to see what they have leaves you vulnerable to a strong sales pitch for something which you may not have had in mind. Do plenty of research beforehand, check out magazines and classifieds and look online to get an idea of what you want. Consider what you will be using the car for and how often you plan to drive it in order to narrow down your options.

Keep Your Price to Yourself

Sales staff will always want to know what your budget is when you walk into the dealership, this is so that they can do their best to max it out on the price of the car and any add-ons which they might be able to sell you. You wouldn’t reveal your budget when you enter the grocery store so don’t do so here.

Inspect the Vehicle

Unfortunately, there is some truth in the stories that there are some real cowboys out there in the used car industry and in order to protect yourself, you need to ensure that the car is in great condition before you buy. If you, like many of us, don’t really know what you should be looking for under the bonnet, then take a professional. Naturally it helps if you know someone that has knowledge about these things but if not, it might be worth giving a mechanic a few dollars to give you a hand.

Negotiate Hard

When the time comes to talk pricing, you need to be hard and smart with your negotiation skills. Don’t ever accept the price that is on the car, this will be largely inflated, try to aim to take 10-15% off the price of the car. If you don’t get the price that you want then it is time to walk away. Very often, the sales staff will want to make the sale far more than you wish to buy the car so try to remember that. You may be offered some add-ons to sweeten the deal, if this happens then take some time to consider things before making a decision. A good technique is to tell them that you wish to sleep on it, once you leave the car lot you can pretty much guarantee that they’ll be on the phone soon with a better offer.

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Top tips for keeping classic cars in mint condition 

If you are about to pick up your first classic car, you might be wondering how to keep it in good enough condition so that it can compete for first prize at the Show and Shine contests in your area.

By following a few cardinal rules that collectors like Robert Bassam swear by, you’ll be able to keep your roadster in tip-top condition for the foreseeable future.

1) Detail your car once per year

This is one of the most obvious steps, but it is also one of the most dreaded. Detailing your car is a very labor-intensive procedure, as it involves deep cleaning, vacuuming, washing and waxing the interior and exterior of the vehicle.

Neglect this important task, and your classic car will gradually accumulate dust, dirt, and grime, which are all things that will cause its good looks to fade.

Remember that you only have to do this once per year: put in one solid weekend afternoon of effort, and your car will look amazing for the rest of the year.

2) Keep your garage rodent-free

As much care as you put into the prior step, your effort will be for naught if your garage ends up becoming infested with mice and rats.

If they are allowed to invade its walls, they will eventually find their way inside, and they will end up chewing up the upholstery of your classic car.

While you may be certain that your garage and home does not contain rodents, it is it best to consult with a pest control expert, just to be sure.

3) Take it out / start it up once per month

If you’re like most collectors, you don’t acquire cars just so they can collect dust in your garage. You dream of being able to take them out during the summer and drive them down the main streets of your community. However, there are some times, especially during the cooler months of the year, where your car will sit dormant for extended periods.

Not starting the vehicle for a long time can be stressful on its systems, as moisture and condensation conspire to create leaks that can hasten the aging process.

By taking out your car at least once per month, you will be able to dry up any sources of moisture by heating up the vehicle.

If it is too cold outside, run the vehicle in your garage with the doors and windows open during the off-season.

4) Park them well away from other vehicles

There’s a reason why you rarely see any classic cars on the road after the first snow flies. It’s has nothing to do with with classic cars being out of style once summer is over, and everything to do with what is put on the roads once they begin to freeze.

Road salt is incredibly destructive to classic cars, so unless you have no choice but to move your vehicle, it is best to leave your baby parked in the garage until spring arrives.

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4 Means to Buying the Perfect Used Car

Are you in the mood for purchasing a used car?

If so, the most important thing you can do is take your time looking for one.

One of the things consumers (like yourself) need to avoid is rushing into buying a vehicle. When one does that, they could very well end up with a clunker, a clunker that costs them money and quite possibly their safety and the safety of those around them.

With that being the case, make sure you do your homework before agreeing to buy that used vehicle.

So, are you ready to start searching for the perfect used car?

Do Your Homework and Take Your Time

When it comes to locating the best used car out there for your needs, keep the following pointers in mind:

  1. Search – As mentioned a moment ago, avoid the impulse to just go out and buy anything on the spot. When purchasing a used vehicle, it is just that, used. As a result, you don’t know its history without asking questions and/or doing an online search to try and learn more. That said spending time on a license plate lookup is a good way to try and dig into a vehicle’s history. Find the best online resource tool to do just that, allowing you to uncover as many details as possible regarding the vehicle of interest. You should also check different online resources to see what used vehicles are typically going for these days in both the private market and from car dealers. Knowing the average price for your vehicle of interest is important so that you do not get taken for a ride financially (see more below);
  2. Money – One of the typical reasons many people opt for used cars over new ones is the idea of saving money. That said make sure you are getting what you pay for. Unfortunately, some will buy a vehicle out of their love for it (way it looks, way it drives etc.) without truly knowing what it is worth. In the end, they then realize that they overpaid for it. Go online and use the different resources available when it comes to pricing used vehicles. If the deal sounds too go to be true, it probably is.

Don’t Buy without Testing First

  1. Performance – Would you buy a new vehicle without taking it for a spin first? Given the answer is likely of course not, the same holds true (even more importance) when considering buying a used vehicle. With all that a used car could have been through over its lifetime, you want to not only drive it, but preferably have a mechanic check it out. Knowing that things such as the engine, brakes, transmission etc. are in good shape is key. If someone tries to sell used a vehicle without letting you try it out, you’re better off hitting the road and finding another opportunity;
  2. Safety – Finally, you should already know this, but be sure to never overlook the importance of safety when considering buying a used vehicle. You likely do not know if that car you’re considering has been in an accident or two. If it has, was it repaired properly? If not, you could potentially be buying something that will put you and others at risk. This is yet another reason why the vehicle needs to be checked out by a mechanic and an auto body expert wouldn’t hurt either.

If you have the itch to purchase a used car, now might be the perfect time for you to go ahead and do it.

Just remember to use commonsense when making such a purchase.

Make sure the vehicle is thoroughly checked out before you open up your wallet or purse and drive away.

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Debunked: Motor oil myths for novices

It’s hidden away and for that reason, it sometimes goes forgotten. However, like it or not, your motor oil is the thing that makes your car tick and without it, problems are going to arise.

When we talk about problems, we’re not discussing minor inconveniences either. Extensive engine damage is one issue and it will most probably mean that you can’t rely on your vehicle warranty and instead have to make a claim with a company like Omega Auto Care.

However, while it might be critically important, there are a lot of misconceptions that surround oil and just how you should manage it in your vehicle. It’s for this reason that we’ve put together this guide, as we scrutinize motor oil in-detail and highlight the many myths that have emerged about it.

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“Black oil means that it should be changed”

This is something that’s commonly stated but suffice to say, it’s just not correct. The general consensus is that you should use your dipstick to check the color of the oil and if it’s black, you should change it as a matter of urgency.

However, rather than showing that the oil is bordering on useless, the darker color instead highlights that it’s working correctly. Oil will change color over time and there’s no need to act apart from in extreme cases.

“You should change your oil every three months”

Another piece of advice which is alarmingly common is the notion that you should change your vehicle’s oil every three months, or every 3,000 miles if you happen to complete that even more quickly.

Generally, if you follow this approach you will just be wasting oil. A better approach is to check your owner’s manual, with most new cars recommending that you change it after at least 7,000 miles – a far cry from the 3,000 that has been historically documented. Failing that, just wait for your warning light to illuminate.

“Synthetic oil is just better”

There’s a couple of myths on synthetic oil, and here’s the first. It’s often said that synthetic oil isn’t just better for your vehicle, but also for fuel economy.

Well, truth be told, it’s not completely accurate. A lot of the time the synthetic claims are exaggerated and umpteen tests have still failed to prove the benefit that it has to fuel economy. Sure, it’s a more lubricated substance, but whether or not this is worthy of the inflated price is another matter.

“There’s no going back after turning to synthetic oil”

Our next synthetic oil myth surrounds the choices you have once you’ve taken the plunge. While some might suggest that you can never go back to petroleum-based oil after using a synthetic type – this generally isn’t the case. As long as the oil is of the required standard, you are able to use both alternately. Usually, these types of oil are blended anyway, so it makes no sense to suggest that they have such dangerous effects on each other.

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Give Your Vehicle the TLC It Needs

Would you consider yourself someone who goes above and beyond what is necessary to take care of one’s vehicle?

If so, you are like millions of other car and truck owners nationwide.

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That being the case, given many cars and trucks are built these days to last longer, it is a sound investment for you to take care of your vehicle. Not only will it mean lower auto insurance and registration fees down the road, but you will also save money on major repairs by doing regular maintenance.

That said where you live and where you drive both play roles in how long you can typically keep a car or truck (see more below). Between weather conditions and area roads, your vehicle can take a beating over time. If that is the case in your situation this all the more reason to be attentive to your vehicle’s needs.

So, are you giving your vehicle all the TLC it needs?

Note Your Weather and Road Conditions

Even if you don’t use your vehicle all that much, the time it spends outside (assuming you don’t garage it all of the time) and the roads it must tackle can take a toll.

With that being the case, here are some helpful reminders to preserve the life of your vehicle for as long as possible:

  • Weather – One of the things that can wear on a vehicle over time would be the weather conditions. As bad as some roads may be, your vehicle being out in snow, ice, heat etc. can be a real game-changer. For example, if you live in the Phoenix area, you know all too well how hot it can get from May to October. As such, your vehicle can literally bake in the summer sun, leading to possible paint damage and other issues. If you are considering purchasing a new BMW in Phoenix or another make or model, think about your choices. For instance, buying a black car in Arizona or other hot climates may not be the wisest choice, especially when those hot days roll around. Meantime, for those residing in rainy areas of the country like Seattle, buying a vehicle with a sunroof may not be the wisest choice. Although sunroofs provide a look and feel that many drivers like, a leaky sunroof can turn into a real problem, especially if it provides continuous problems. The best option no matter where you reside is to have a garage or even a carport to house your vehicle. In doing so, you will typically increase the life of your vehicle, saving you money when all is said and done;
  • Roads – Unless you are retired and/or you don’t have to drive all that often, your vehicle is going to come across its share of potholes, bumpy roads, roads where you have to brake often etc. As such, expect your vehicle to get a true workout. Although some contact with potholes and other road issues is all but inevitable, do your best to avoid such issues. From your tires to your brakes, how you drive on local roads and highways will go a long way in determining how many years you keep that vehicle. Lastly, make sure you know the road conditions as much as possible before setting out to drive. This is especially the case in the wintertime. Roads that appear to be safe can turn on a dime when snow and/or ice come in contact with them. By taking extra time to get where you need to go, you and your vehicle will likely arrive safely.

Regular Maintenance is a Necessity

  • Maintenance – Finally, are you one of those drivers with an avoidance of your area mechanic at all costs? Just like some people never want to see a dentist, some drivers are missing in action when it comes to taking care of their vehicles. Even if you decide regular maintenance updates (30K, 60K, 90K miles etc.) are not going to happen, at least get your recommended oil changes, have the tires rotated, and get the brakes inspected. Not only are those check-ups important for the life of your vehicle, they also improve your safety odds each and every time you get behind the wheel.

If giving your vehicle some TLC has been an afterthought as of late, drive forward with better habits this year and down the road.

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