After the rough winter most drivers experienced around the country, April is the perfect month to give our car’s a little TLC. How convenient, then, that April is National Car Care Month, reminding us to keep our vehicle in top condition.
The Car Car Council, a non-profit organization helping motorists “Be Car Aware,” believes that a few simple steps can keep our cars running smoothly and safely, even after brutal winter conditions. The Council’s Executive Director, Rich White, says “Since most Americans rely on their vehicles nearly every day to get to work, school and everywhere in between, taking a little time for car care now can save headaches and money in the long run.”
Consumer education is the focus of Car Care Month and of the Car Care Council’s ongoing “Be Car Aware” campaign. They contend that most consumers are simply not aware of the maintenance they need to perform to keep their car working properly. Others feel overwhelmed with the information out there and aren’t sure what they need to do, how often, or how much time and money it should take. By educating consumers, the Council can help improve highway safety and help car owners with fuel efficiency while helping them avoid the costly repairs that result when regular maintenance is skipped.
Here are three things you can do in April to start making car care a habit:
1. Start and keep a maintenance schedule. Find out the regular maintenance recommended by the manufacturer of your car and map it against a calendar. Be sure to include things like oil changes, tire alignments and rotations, and other regular maintenance tasks as well as the seasonal, annual and mileage checks.
2. Do a regular check of your vehicle for little things and respond immediately. This can be as simple as noticing when your wipers start slowing and getting them replaced or taking your car to the mechanic when a warning light appears on the dash. Don’t let the little things turn into big things.
3. Clean your car or truck. Washing and waxing the outside of your car will give you a chance to inspect the exterior for dents, scratches and other damage. It will also provide protection for your paint job as well as insulating the car’s body from corrosive damage. If you live in a snowy region where salt and other chemicals are used for snow reduction, regular cleaning is doubly important.
There are numerous resources available online to help you put yourself on a car care schedule as well as sites like www.haynes.com where you can get manuals for almost every make and model of vehicle so you can perform the maintenance yourself. There are even “how to” videos put out by mechanics, auto manufacturers and top auto magazines and TV shows that show you step-by-step what to do.
Invest a little bit of time in caring for your car and it will make a difference.