I was driving north yesterday, realizing how much I like my little car. It’s not flashy, it gets me from point A to point B, and it has very few problems (knock on wood). It is a 2003 Nissan Sentra and I bought it used, I’d had a Nissan Altima before this car and I liked it, and so, I was pleased with the brand.
My Sentra gets good gas mileage and is comfortable. I have a stereo that came with it and it sounds great, I listen to NPR a lot and listen to some great music on CDs in the luxurious machine. As time goes on, I like the Blue Chariot more and more, we are friends, she takes care of me and I take care of her. I have had cars in the past that have had names – like a sailor names his boat. I used to drive Stella Blue and the Luxury Monarch both good friends and they were missed when they were gone. For most of my other cars I had a manual, the kind you get at an auto parts store or on Amazon. Back then you could use them to work on the automobile yourself. My Blue Chariot is newer and there are lots of things you need special tools for and a diagnostic computer to work on. If you bring it to a shop and they tell you what’s going on with your car when the “Check Engine” light comes on, in many of cases you will not know the part they are describing because it’s not a carburetor or a hose. That’s why I am going to buy a manual for my car – if I can’t fix it myself I can at least know what they are going to replace in the Blue Chariot.
I only have one car so it is important that the Blue Chariot and I are friends and that we take care of each other.
Here are some suggestions for taking care of your four wheeled friend.
- Find a good garage with people you can trust – hopefully they are local to you – I recently moved and had to go to a new garage – while I was waiting another customer came in and I asked him it he had been to this garage before, he said he traveled 20 miles to get to this shop because they were so good – what a great endorsement. The helped me and I was very pleased.
- Rotate your tires regularly at your favorite shop and develop a relationship with the people who work there. Also, check your tire pressure, if one tire looks low check them all and fill to manufacturer specs.
- Check fluid levels and make sure they are in range so you don’t run too low on them. Use good windshield washer fluid that will clean the windshield and not freeze when it is cold. Periodically take a wet paper towel and wipe the wiper blades to keep them clean to assure they contact the windshield well.
- Have the oil and filter changed at regular intervals according to the manufacturer of your car, and depending upon the kind of oil you use regular or synthetic. If you want to use an oil additive I like Slick50 or Restore, Slick50 adds a super lubricant that sticks to parts inside the engine and Restore seems to add pep to the engine.
- Don’t leave your car and trunk full of heavy stuff, if it is the winter and you live where it snows it is good to have some weight in the car but in the summer take it out to get better gas mileage.
- Get a “Fast Pass” for bridges and highway driving, this way you don’t need to stop and pay a toll and then get going again. This will save gas, time and create less pollution.
- Listen to music or the radio through the cars speakers; do NOT listen to iPods or MP3 players with headphones. You need to hear sirens, horns and other stuff you won’t if you are listening with headphones or ear buds. This is for your safety as well as the safety of others.
- Let people walk in front or back of your car in parking lots so you know where they are and when they are clear. It will make you feel good about being kind and you are in control now and less likely to hit someone by mistake. If you hit someone it will ruin your day and theirs.
- Be friendly with the people who pump your gas and other customers at the gas station, it will make the world a better place.
- And finally – always wear your seat belt and make others in your car wear theirs! Even if you are on a short trip to the deli or video store. Seatbelts help save lives and it could save yours.
Love your car like I do, get parts and accessories here: