Zen & the Art of Automobile Maintenance

Finding your center and establishing a good automotive maintenance routine can indeed go hand in hand.  Though I do hope reading this blog is less boring for you than when I tried to read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance with a similar goal in mind. That wordy, seemingly nonsensical collection of words did nothing to improve my state of zen or my knowledge of the fine art of motorcycle maintenance. If Che Guevara had been relying on that book as his manual on the road, he’d have never made it Cuba for the revolution. Che knew how to fix up his wheels with chicken wire and anything else available on the roads, and so should you.  Taking care of your car will help keep your car insurance rates affordable and minimize major repair costs.

From pantyhose in place of a broken fan belt, to peeing in the radiator when your car overheats, there are a lot of Che’esque tricks you can use as your navigate the American highways this summer with your family, but more important than that, is having a proper, regularly scheduled maintenance routine and then before a big road trip, adding a special tune-up and once over inspection to the mix to make sure you are dialed and styled before you hit the highway. This includes regular oil changes, fluid level checks, spark plug changes, tire rotations, fuse checks, tire pressure checks, window, mirror and headlight washing.

Getting your AAA card or other emergency roadside protection updated is always a good idea in general and especially before you take a cruise across this fair country of ours with your precious family. The benefits are awesome and always there right when you need it. There’s seems to be an overwhelming amount of roadside assistance options out there nowadays, and I’m sure some are good and some not. My friend went with one of the lesser known brands of coverage that her dealer upsold to her when she bought her car. What they didn’t tell her was that, unlike AAA, there are loads of extra fees and other fine print that makes the service less than ideal.  She had to pay $300 to have her car towed when she got a flat on the way back from skiing. With fees like that, what’s the point of having any coverage at all, right? My mother turned me on to AAA and I am very glad she did. They have always been there for me when I had a problem on the road and I have also gotten some nice discounts at interesting motels along the highway as I’ve explored this great continent we live on.
If you allay as many potential concerns as possible with your automobile then you will ease stress and help you and your family drive down the road feeling relaxed and safe, if not in a zen like state of peace, acceptance and understanding.

Mike Machina has written for 944 Magazine/944.com, Comcast, The Onion and Westword and has been a car enthusiast since he was first able to get behind the wheel of a truck on his friend’s farm in elementary school. He specializes in blogging about classic cars, everyday driving tips, maintenance, insurance and car humor.

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