For many people, their car is their pride and joy. It’s not just a way to get from point A to point B, it’s their greatest love, their passion project, and a vital extension of their personality. The constant demands of life can force our attention away from our cars, and before you know it, they’re a shell of their former self.
Cars aren’t as complicated as they seem though, and a quick fix can dramatically improve your driving experience — whether you’re heading out on a road trip or commuting to work each day. Here are some small things you can do to your car this weekend to improve it.
Better fuel management
We’ll kick off with a simple change that won’t just improve your driving experience in the long run, but your bank balance.
Keeping track of your fuel usage gives you a significant advantage over the millions of other drivers out there who drive around paying no attention to it. If you feel like the price at the pump is creeping up every time you go to fill up with gas, this is a great small solution for you.
It’s easy to get started managing your fuel usage and getting your car into optimum shape to reduce it. Cleaning your car regularly, even if it’s just clearing off grime after a country drive, can make your car much lighter and give the engine less to carry. Old tires that aren’t properly maintained (more on that later) can make a journey longer than it needs to be, raising your fuel consumption. Not planning ahead to find the most optimal and efficient route can have the same effect.
Along with these methods, a great first step to making your monthly fuel allowance go further is to invest in a fuel card. Fuel cards can be used at every major garage across the country, from Shell to QuikTrip. A Shell fuel card, for example, won’t just let you pay for all your fuel purchases in one easy motion, but give you exclusive discounts and total up your payments in one easy place. A great fix if you drive for work and use company cards.
Changing your spark plug
You don’t need to be a petrol head to get under the hood and make simple changes that will significantly improve your driving experience.
Changing your spark plug semi-regularly is a quick fix that can make all the difference. Driving with a better quality spark plug gives you better combustion. Translation - your car is more powerful and has better fuel economy (hey, add that one to the list above).
Changing your spark plug is a great first step to better understanding your vehicle and customizing it to what you really want to drive. Here’s a great step by step that shows just how accessible the process is and how few tools you’re going to need.
Yes, you may want to impress the neighbors with your new vehicle, but keeping your car indoors is one of the simplest ways to keep it in pristine condition between drives.
It might seem obvious, but even out of winter you should look to keep your car in the garage as much as you possibly can. It doesn’t just protect the car’s body from the elements and temperamental weather conditions but makes sure your engine isn’t exposed to drastic temperature changes, which can occur all year round.
Parking indoors keeps a car dry in the winter and cool and shaded in the summer, putting less strain on the engine when you get started (as it needs less time to warm up). It also protects your car from other extreme weather conditions, such as snow, hail or prolonged exposure to the hot sun.
Whatever way you look at it, it makes sense to park your car indoors and keep it safe, secure and ready to go at a moment’s notice.
How much better would it feel to hop into a warm car on a cold winter’s morning before work? Or return to a cool one after a long day in the office on a hot summer afternoon? Well, thanks to remote start add ons you don’t need to dream anymore.
A simple remote starter won’t set you back too much and are relatively simple to install. You don’t need to get one included with your vehicle, as lots of aftermarket options exist. They allow you to control the car’s temperature, sound and lock from a distance, meaning you can get it prepared as you watch that clock ticking down or simply to show off to your friends.
Best of all, now these devices have been around for a little while they’ve been refined to include all kinds of great features and range limits. A much cheaper option than paying for your own personal chauffeur to keep the engine running.
Tire pressure monitors
Few things haunt drivers like the prospect of a flat tire. Having to get out of the vehicle on a busy highway, get to work changing the vehicle and then hope you did everything correctly sounds like a nightmare when you’ve got somewhere to be or you’ve got hours left on your journey. That’s before you take into account the trouble of lugging around a spare.
While we can’t offer the solution that will guarantee no more flats, we can suggest a simple, routine trick that will make a huge difference.
Monitoring your tire pressure with a pressure monitoring system will help you keep track of both flats and slow leaks. These simple gauges will give you a PSI score, which can be matched up alongside the original one your vehicle had to see how much the tire pressure has changed. From there you can add or remove air from the tire, giving you a much smoother and safer drive as the manufacturer originally intended.
Everything from handling to speed is improved by keeping an eye on your tire pressure, so make this small trick a part of your weekly routine and pre-road trip checklist.
You don’t have to be tinkering away in the garage every weekend to keep your car in top shape. Little changes here and there such as these will improve everything from how much you’re spending on your car to how well it glides across the road.