After reading an article by Jennifer Knightstep, Automotive Correspondent for the Journal Register Newspapers, I started from her basic car resolution list and composed my own Top 10 MINI Resolutions for 2012.
While the rest of the world is busy making New Year’s resolutions involving weight loss or budgets, Jennifer and I have been making a list of resolutions about our cars. Some are obvious (like not driving when too tired or drunk – not me, I don’t drink) and some are highly subjective (like not applying a small stick-figure family to my rear window), but all have merit.
10. I will change my oil every 3,000 miles or every six months, whichever comes first. Given my stop and go driving and the short daily trips that I take, my baby deserves clean oil. As Jennifer pointed out, countless studies and loads of evidence have shown that regular maintenance, including oil changes, can greatly improve fuel economy and extend your vehicle’s life.
9. I will wash my car at least every other week. Though scientific research does not bear this out, Jennifer and I both believe that a clean car exhibits improved performance and handling over a dirty car, plus she feels better (MINImowse that is, not Jennifer). Don’t you feel grimy after a workout? Plus MINImowse likes to show off for the MINI Cooper down the street. In the four and one half years that I have owned my MINI she has been given a bath at least every other week and most times once a week with a quick detail as well.
8. I will not resist the allure of window clings: although the stick figure family, the heart-breaking obituary, the obnoxious political or social statement, is not my cup of tea. To each his own. I personally like “Actual Size” and “Pre-shrunk”, just be sure that they do not obstruct your vision.
7. I will patronize my trustworthy mechanic and follow his advice (Hi Steve). Unless you, your father, or another close family member is a mechanic, find a good one and follow their advice. Much like hiring then ignoring a personal trainer, it doesn’t make sense to find a good mechanic, unless you plan to heed his (or her) sage maintenance and repair advice.
6. I will set money aside for maintenance and repairs: is there anything worse than having to dip into your mad money to pay for a new set of tires or an emergency battery replacement? This New Year, make a new MINI account, and stash a little cash in it each month to cover unforeseen auto maintenance and repairs. And remember, it is not for mods!
5. I will check my tire pressure regularly and keep my road service current. Why is it that a tire only flattens in the middle of a rain/snowstorm in the dead of night? And why is it that we only notice we have let our road service lapse at that very moment? Give yourself a little extra peace of mind now, and resolve to check, right now, the existence of current and active road service and that your tires are properly inflated. ( I prefer runflats, I know – but I love them.)
4. I will listen to “Car Talk” on NPR every so often: besides being wickedly funny and clean enough for the entire family to enjoy, Tom and Ray also dole out helpful advice and make astute vehicular observations. Can they make great car sounds or what?
3. I will keep at least a quarter of a tank of gas in my car at all times: if the great power outage in LA taught us anything, it’s that we Americans are heavily reliant on our electric grid. From an automotive stance, it demonstrated that nearly all of our gas stations require it to pump gas and to run our debit and charge cards, so this New Year, for this and many other reasons, make a solemn resolution to keep at least a quarter of a tank of gas in your car at all times. I shoot for half a tank, MINImowse is a happy girl when her tummy is full.
2. I will be a responsible, courteous driver: this resolution includes such promises as “I will not drive to slow or too fast” and “I will not wait until the last possible moment to merge into traffic” and “I will not cut in front of other drivers, especially when there is no-one behind them” and, of course, “I will not drive when I have not had enough sleep”. You may not treasure your life but I treasure mine and MINI’s so don’t take us out as a result of your selfishness. Don’t drink and drive and don’t drive when you are tired.
1. I will tuck my MINI in the garage every night and make sure that she knows she is loved. I will pat her fender after a tough day on the road just as she welcomes me with her warm and cute perkie look in the parking lot after I have had a hard day at work. Most importantly, I will love and keep her forever.