As the year draws to a close, many of us engage in reflective practices also known as looking back on our past missteps as well as our successes. Many of us make the same resolutions year after year, but we never manage to make the life style change required for successful behavior modification.
We are bombarded with advertisements for weight loss drugs, gym memberships, and exercise equipment to help us achieve weight loss in the new year. However, the advertisements for oil changes, performance parts, and new tires fail to grace our television screens (at least on the major networks). So it is time to ponder some of the best automotive resolutions for the new year and hopefully they will have better follow through than the latest diet craze.
First and foremost, change your dang oil! Even when your classic car, vintage coupe, or hot rod truck sits in the garage for the course of the long, cold winter, it is important to change the oil before taking it out on the roads. Oil will break down overtime and that can lead to problems later down the road. Not to say, that you must change the oil on the first nice day, but it is a cheap insurance policy.
Second, try to buy quality parts. We know this sounds redundant, but it will save a lot of money and heartache in the long run. You might be in a rush to finish up your engine build and running low on money after all of the Christmas shopping you did, yet buying a cheap set of rockers might get the project running, but will the needle bearings stay in place?
Imagine the horror of losing oil pressure thanks to the cascade of needle bearing through your engine that will end up severing your oil pump driveshaft. Would you reuse head bolts or studs? It is possible that they will do the job, but is the risk truly worth it?
Finally, spend a little time hitting the local automotive swap meets and junkyards. It is easy to find parts with a Google search, but there is very little adventure in the process. Going to a junkyard is an adventure on its own. You can find S10 frames for a rat rod project on Craigslist all day long, but there is some satisfaction in wandering around an automotive graveyard and finding what you need.
Part of car culture are the car people; taking time to talk to the old timers who have lost more automotive knowledge than many of us hope to learn in a lifetime can be a rewarding experience. Sharing ideas and experiences is part of the fun! You will learn new things and have fun in the process. If you haven’t read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, it might help you appreciate this resolution. Taking time to explore the automotive world and savoring the experiences beats instant gratification any day.