• Resolutions for New Year

Dealers Voice: Resolutions for New Year should include your vehicle

Here are some ideas for making an automotive resolution for 2020:

Cliff Lafreniere By: Cliff Lafreniere January 13, 2020
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At the start of each year, people make resolutions to improve their physical, emotional or financial well-being.

I would like to propose a different sort of resolution for 2020, an automotive resolution that can apply to all drivers.

An automotive resolution, as I see it, involves making a commitment to the care, maintenance and understanding of your vehicle.

Sadly, too many drivers take their vehicles for granted. They do not perform proper maintenance or keep their vehicles clean. They drive recklessly and dangerously, putting themselves and others at risk.

Here are some ideas for making an automotive resolution for 2020:

1) Follow a recommended maintenance schedule. Read your owner’s manual to see how often your vehicle should be inspected, and what mechanical components need to be replaced. Proper maintenance will improve your vehicle’s safety, reduce the risk of major problems occurring — and keeping detailed service records will enhance your resale value.

2) Learn how to change a tire and how booster cables work. If you have roadside assistance or can call a friend for help, that’s fine. However, sometimes these options are not available. Knowing how to change a tire or use booster cables could come in handy, especially in rural areas in winter. Make sure your spare tire is in good condition.

3) Drive safely. Nearly three of four drivers in Canada admit to distracted driving, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, and this dangerous activity is still the No. 1 cause of fatalities on roads and highways. So, why is this activity so prevalent? Why aren’t drivers heeding the message and putting their devices away? If you engage in distracted driving, please make this resolution a top priority. Despite the stiff fines and penalties for this type of driving offence, distracted driving could result in serious injuries, or worse.

4) Detailing services. There is an old expression, “When you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good, you do good.” This could apply to your vehicle, too. A vehicle is an important asset in your life, and drivers should take pride in the appearance of their vehicle. A detailing service often includes a coat of wax that will protect the exterior paint. A clean interior will make your vehicle more enjoyable to drive and it will feel more inviting and pleasant for passengers.

5) Take a leisurely drive. Plan a car trip with friends or family to explore some new part of the province (or beyond). You could discover quaint towns and villages and make great memories along the way. A car trip can also be quite relaxing for drivers and passengers alike, a break from the daily grind.

6) Assess your current automotive needs. In Canada, the average driver keeps a car for eight or nine years, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants. It could be that your present vehicle is costing too much in repairs, is not meeting your lifestyle needs or has reached the end of its life cycle. If you are faced with any of these circumstances, consider buying a new or pre-owned vehicle. The benefits of buying new include a factory warranty, the latest safety and infotainment features, improved fuel efficiency and competitive lease/finance rates.

I urge all drivers to make these automotive resolutions in 2020. Together, they will restore your pride of ownership and provide other positive benefits, as well.

Once again, the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association is proud to support Prostate Cancer Canada. This year, our association has donated two 2020 Toyota Supras – a GR Supra Nocturnal and a GR Supra Renaissance (valued at $152,000). The Rock the Road Raffle draw will take place at the 2020 Canadian International Autoshow. For ticket information, visit rocktheroadraffle.ca.

This column represents the views and values of the TADA. Write to president@tada.ca or go to tada.ca. Cliff Lafreniere is president of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association and is president of Pinewood Park Motors (Ford) in Kirkland Lake. For information about automotive trends and careers, visit carsandjobs.com.

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