It’s the time of year that people are planning their New Year’s resolutions. Many people will decide to work on their fitness, others finding their dream jobs, and others will start marking things off their bucket lists. There is one thing that each of these resolutions have in common, you must drive to get there. You drive to the gym, drive to your work or job interviews, drive to the museum you’ve been meaning to get to. We rely on our car to get us just about everywhere we need to go.

So, this year, while you are working on your resolutions lists, why not resolve to drive smarter and take better care of your car? All of your other resolutions count on it. Here are 17 resolutions for a healthier car in 2017:

  1. Have your oil changed regularly. Check your owner’s manual for your specific make and model recommendations. Regular oil changes are an investment toward the longevity of your engine.
  2. After you get gas, make sure your gas cap is tight and secure. Loose gas caps can trigger the “Service Engine Soon” or “Check Engine” light.
  3. Inspect your brakes regularly to ensure reliable and safe braking, and to minimize the cost of repairs when a brake service is needed.
  4. Weather can damage your car’s finish. Wash and polish your car at least once a month to protect it.
  5. Keep your tires properly inflated. Properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage by over three percent, and helps to prevent wear. Make sure you check the spare. Check the pressure and their condition monthly.
  6. Have your alignment checked. You should have your alignment checked annually, or at the first sign of improper handling or uneven wear as well as whenever you get new tires.
  7. In the spring and fall, check the condition of your coolant to prepare it for the weather that lies ahead.
  8. If it has been a while, replace your car’s fuel filter. It should be changed every 2 years or 24,000 miles for best results.
  9. A healthy running engine expands the life of costly emission system components. Have routine tune-ups and engine performance checks done on your vehicle, per your owner’s manual, to ensure the best performance and fuel economy from your vehicle.
  10. Inspect your car’s lights, interior and exterior at every oil change to make sure they are working properly.
  11. If you don’t already have one, create an emergency roadside kit to keep in your car. You can find our suggestions here.
  12. Make sure you know what to so should you be involved in an auto accident. Read our blog post for advice.
  13. Check your battery at the beginning of every summer and winter. The winter and summer months are the hardest on the battery and you want to make sure it will make it through. If your battery is older than three years old, you should consider replacing it as the chances of failure increase.
  14. Every three months or per your owner’s manual, check the levels of fluids including automatic transmission, power steering and brake, and check the battery and cables, belts and hoses.
  15. Every six months or 6,000 miles, the chassis lubrication should be checked and windshield wipers replaced.
  16. Every 12 months or 12,000 miles, the brakes, spark plugs, coolant and steering and suspension should be checked.
  17. Never hesitate to bring your vehicle in for service if you feel that there is a problem. Often your gut instinct is correct, after all, no one knows your vehicle better than you. Catching and fixing problems early saves a lot of time, stress, and money in the long run.

Resolve to better maintain your vehicle in the new year. We promise you won’t regret it. Preventative vehicle maintenance pays off all year, every year.

If you need assistance with your vehicle or are ready for your regular check-up, call on the experts at Meridian Automotive. Call us today, (208) 297-5573, or schedule an appointment online.

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