The following tips from ASE will help motorists get and stay organized.
- Record Keeping.
Keep a copy of every completed work order, from oil changes and brake service to major repairs. In addition to helping document any warranty work, a complete service record is very appealing to potential buyers.
- Service Reminders.
Read your owner's manual and follow the service schedules listed. Some shops send out automatic reminders to their regular customers. Many of today's manufacturers include e-mailed reminders and even remote satellite diagnostic reports. Timely, regular maintenance saves money in the long run by helping your vehicle run efficiently.
- Tactical Care.
Don't ignore service-engine lights, poor engine performance, rough handling, fading brakes or other issues that present themselves. Neglect can cost more in the long run by making minor issues worse. For example, brake pads are cheaper and easier to replace than are brake rotors.
Don't use the trunk as a catch-all. Keep only essential items there. Remove roof-top cargo carriers as soon as your trip is over. Less clutter means less weight, which means better gasoline mileage. Keep your vehicle's interior clean of trash and clutter and vacuum the seats and carpeting on a regular basis to prevent premature wear and tear and staining. Wax your car at least once a year to help preserve the paint job (and its resale value).
- Heal Thyself.
Other automotive resolutions are less about your vehicle and more about you. Avoid jackrabbit starts; sudden accelerations waste fuel and are hard on the engine. Slow down; speeding greatly decreases miles per gallon. Hard stops wear out brakes.
Visit www.ase.com for seasonal car care tips and information about certified automotive technicians.