Car Care

New Year Resolutions for your car

The New Year is a great time to think about what you’d like to achieve in the 12 months ahead. Maybe you want to improve your health, start investing, or go on holiday.

Your goals for 2023 probably don’t involve your car – but maybe they should. Your car could help you achieve your other goals, particularly the financial ones. When your car runs smoothly it uses less fuel, which helps you save money. It’s less likely to break down, need expensive repairs or require replacing – all of which are costly in terms of both money and time.

Plus you could be helping to reduce your stress, because when your car isn’t cared for, Murphy’s Law it will stop cooperating at the most stressful possible time.

Keep you car in check this year by taking these few simple steps:

1. Check and change your oil

Oil is the lifeblood of your engine, lubricating and cooling all the moving parts. Over time, it burns away, thickens up and degrades. Once it gets low, your engine can be damaged – sometimes catastrophically. Make sure you check your oil regularly and change it annually or every 10,000km. You can learn how to check your oil in this video, or pop into your local AA Auto Centre and they’ll be happy to help.

2. Learn to change a tyre

There’s no need to let a flat tyre ruin your whole day, or leave you stranded on the side of the road on a rainy night. Almost anyone can change a tyre, it just takes a little practice. We’ve got instructions and a video here to explain it to you in detail.

And of course if you’re in a situation where it’s not safe to change your own tyre, like in the motorway, call our Roadservice team on 0800 500 222.

3. Check your tyres are road safe

While we’re on the topic of tyres, bald or underinflated tyres are a significant risk factor – they compromise your grip and increase your stopping distance, making a crash more likely. Plus, underinflated tyres will wear out more quickly and increase your fuel use, so this is a case where a little bit of free air can save you a considerable amount of money.

Check your tread is at least 1.5mm deep, which you can do in a few seconds using a 20 cent coin, and check your tyres are correctly inflated each time you fill up with fuel. We’ve got online tyre safety instructions, and you can also visit the Tyre Safety website for more information.

4. Stay focused when you’re driving

Distractions are a leading cause of road accidents, so don’t put your safety at risk by allowing yourself to be distracted when you’re driving. Anything that distracts you from the road for just two seconds or more will increase the chance of a crash.

The biggest distractor is your phone, so put it away! Also be aware of some of the other common distractors, including your in-car navigation, trying to eat while driving, loud music, unsecured pets and applying makeup. By staying focused on the road, you can avoid preventable accidents that could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs, and worse, your safety.

5. Know how to jump-start your car

Often, the top cause of a car that won’t start is a flat battery. Jump starting a car is a useful skill, although it’s a little more complex and riskier than changing a tyre. The traditional method is using jump leads to connect your battery to a donor vehicle and start your battery. A jump pack could be even better, because it means you don’t need to rely on another vehicle.

If you have any doubts, call AA Roadservice and we will take care of your flat battery for you.

6. Follow a maintenance schedule, and keep your rego and WoF up to date

Follow your car’s recommended maintenance schedule, including servicing – and don’t forget to ensure your registration and Warrant of Fitness are up to date. Not doing so could jeopardise the safety of yourself and others, and there’s a good chance you’ll end up with a costly fine for non-compliance.

Pop into your local AA Auto Centre for expert advice and assistance.

Keep your vehicle well maintained in 2023 and it will help you save money, prevent accidents and reach all your destinations throughout the year!

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