Many people look at the New Year as an opportunity for a fresh start. Some set goals to lose weight, quit a bad habit or finally finish that home remodeling project. One often overlooked area for New Year’s resolutions is your car. Here are five auto-related resolutions you can make that are easy to achieve and may save you money.

Drive less – Make a point this New Year to drive less frequently. Whether that means biking to the grocery store, walking to the bank or taking the bus to work, choose something that will keep you out of your car at least once a week. Not only will you save money on gas and car maintenance, but also you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint.

Clean your vehicle once a week – Those of us who spend a lot of time in our cars know how quickly dirt and trash can build up. Get into the habit of emptying trash daily and vacuuming the car’s interior weekly. You may also want to detail the interior every month, which can help protect surfaces and increase the value of your car.

Get all scheduled oil changes on time –It’s easy to put off getting an oil change when you have a lot going on, but doing so can cut the life of your vehicle short. Make a point to have your oil changed on or before the recommended date throughout the year. Your engine will run better, and you’ll save money in the long run.

Review your vehicle insurance coverage – It’s easy to take monthly bills for granted since many of them never change. You may even have automatic bill pay set up that sends out monthly checks for your mortgage, car payment, auto insurance payment and utility bills. This year, reevaluate your vehicle insurance coverage. Contact your insurance company to confirm the coverage you’re paying for matches your needs, and then shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Wash off road salt buildup – If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, it’s likely that the roads are salted regularly throughout the winter. That salt buildup can severely accelerate the deterioration of your vehicle’s body, especially the underside. Take your car through a carwash at least once every two weeks or after every major snowfall. The regular washes will keep your car free of oxidizing salt, and reduce the likelihood that it will rust.

Sponsored by Nationwide Insurance

10 Comments

  1. this is certainly a goal worth working towards..

    i have tried a few small repairs myself, but don’t have the tools to do anything major (i don’t really think they are worth the investment).

    they have great videos on youtube available for anyone wanting to tackle virtually any car repair.

  2. The salt removal and oil changes are very important! Make sure to keep that tire pressure correct, too…you shoudl check that every month — with each weather change, your pressure can change. If your pressure isn’t right, you waste gas and money. Usually each tire has printed on it the correct pressure (psi).

    • @TB – Thanks for adding the tire pressure tip. That’s also very important. (Even my bike’s tire pressure changes with the weather.)

  3. Fortunately I don’t have to drive much anymore. We only drive once or twice a week and that help tremendously. It’s much more healthy to walk everywhere.

    • @Joe – That’s great that you can walk almost everywhere. Can I ask where you live? I’m fortunate I can bike to work a few days a week, and Starbucks on the weekends, but everything else is pretty much driving.

  4. I need to check my tire pressure more. Other than that, I only drive once or twice a week and get oil changes pretty regularly. I do need to clean my car more often though…I did it for the first time in a year or two last weekend and it took nearly an hour…

    • @Crystal – Do you have the drive thru car washes? They can be a temporary “wash” until you can do it by hand. At least it keeps the grime at bay and shouldn’t take too long to hand wash it the next time around. Oh that Texas weather! 😉

  5. great tips. the third one applies to all items you need to change, like brake pads or filters. You may think you are saving money by using them longer but repairs will cost much more than the few dollars you are saving today.

    • @Pauline – That’s for sure. I think it’s a general rule with cars that if you wait to long on a repair or regular maintenance, the cost can double or triple!

  6. Great car tips. My kids and I discuss this stuff all the time (they’re 17). I’m forwarding this article so they know it isn’t just “dad being dad” about the car….

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