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New Year’s Driving Resolutions

New Year’s Driving Resolutions

January 10, 2019

As we enter the initial days of 2019, many British Columbians – including myself – will be struggling to maintain New Year’s resolutions. However, the one most often to keep is related to your vehicle.

This may seem a bit trivial when compared to losing those extra pounds and quitting smoking, but think about it: you trust your car with getting you to work, getting the kids to school, and taking you on weekend adventures. So, shouldn’t you do your best to give your car or truck the attention it deserves this year?
In the end, committing to a simple and regular vehicle maintenance regime that follows the manufacturer’s recommended schedule will help you save money and fuel. Seasonal tune-ups with a trained technician can spot potential problems early, nipping those costly repairs in the bud.

Resolve to measure your tire pressure regularly, especially after sharp drops in temperature, which can decrease the air pressure in tires. Operating a vehicle with just one tire under-inflated by 8 psi can reduce the life of the tire by 15,000 kms and increase your vehicle’s fuel consumption by 4 percent.
Remember to rotate your tires. Generally, every 8,000 to 16,000 kms (5,000 to 10,000 miles) is a good guideline, but make sure to check your owner’s manual for your vehicle-specific recommendation. Give your tires the attention they need, and you will improve your fuel efficiency and enhance your safety.

Check your fluid levels once a month. Mark out your calendar for the whole year in advance, so you don’t forget. Fluids play a huge role in almost every facet of your car. Remember the essential six to keep an eye on: engine oil, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and windshield washer fluid – if you don’t know how to check one or more of these, ask your technician or check your manual. Keeping them at their proper level will help your car last longer and drive better.

Have your car detailed this year, automated car washes and light vacuuming are good for maintenance, but every so often your car deserves a nice, deep clean, inside and out. This can enhance your car’s retail value and keeping your car clean will protect its finish, especially rinsing the salt off in the winter months.
Get to know your vehicle – spend some quality time with your owner’s manual. Your car is probably capable of a lot of things you don’t know about. New technology is changing so quickly and even a car a couple of model years newer than your last one will have a whole new suite of features.

If you’re driving an older car that requires costly maintenance and has poor fuel economy, maybe this is the year to start shopping around for a new vehicle. The 2019 Vancouver Auto Show is a great way to check out all the new makes and models currently on the market and ask questions in a pressure-free environment. Hear from industry experts and have some fun.

The 2019 Vancouver International Auto Show returns to the Vancouver Convention Centre West from March 19 through 24. For more information on the Show and to purchase tickets, please visit: www.VancouverInternationalAutoShow.com.

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at bqualey@newcardealers.ca.

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