When adding a driver to your household whether it be your parent, spouse or child, there’s lots of things to consider : insurance, registration, the added fuel bill, and having a safe vehicle for them to drive.
Sometimes the last item on that list gets overlooked without even thinking about it. Here’s how: you get the new used vehicle for your loved to drive. You spend a lot money upfront getting it all checked over and make sure it is safe for them to start driving. This is important because you don’t want them on the side of the road, but you don’t want to buy them a new car in case they crash and total it. It’s totally understandable to do it this way but here is where the mistake comes in. You get it already the brakes, engine, transmission, exhaust, and suspension all get checked and repaired if necessary. However, if they aren’t broken or worn down yet, they won’t get replaced. Then you give the car to most often times your newly licensed or widowed loved one, who has not had to take care of a car before and doesn’t know when the oil should be changed, or that if it makes a louder noise that you don’t just turn the radio up, and keep driving.
You, more than likely just hand the keys over and be the most loved one in your family for the time being….. and you are busy, and your loved one surely doesn’t drive as much as you, you just got the car checked over so really what could it need? State inspection time comes around, and you find out from the mechanic that the oil change is overdue by several thousand miles, a tire has been run flat at some point and it needs a new tire but really should have two because the tires are less than half tread and winter’s coming in less than a month, it’s missing a cylinder and the abs light is on.
I know right now the first thought coming through your mind at this point is, “the mechanic’s trying to swindle me and my loved one, I trust him totally with my car, but he’s trying to pull something”. You then, rationalize that you trust your mechanic and must have gotten taken over when you bought the new used car, the seller lied to you.
Actually the solution is quite simple, it’s not just your mechanics fault for the necessary repairs, it’s not just that the car’s a lemon, and it’s not just your loved one’s driving the vehicle roughly and not keeping an eye on the car, and it’s not just your fault for buying the car in the first place. At this point you’re probably asking me,” Sam so whose fault is it?” Short answer is everyone is a little at fault. You were right to get the car to the mechanic for initial look over. Where you failed was thinking your newly driving loved one is going to know that the car still needs maintenance and attention, even though it was just (nine months ago) at the mechanic. Your loved one failed by making sure they kept up with the maintenance and attention, they were ignorant, and your mechanic failed by not making sure that your loved one felt they could come to them without feeling stupid or taken advantage of.
Whether you use us as your mechanic or you don’t, when you find yourself in the position of getting a loved one ready to drive, here’s a quick easy solution to this problem so that this scenario does not become your nightmare. When you bring the car in for the initial service bring your loved one along, make sure that everybody gets a chance to meet and put a name to the face. Next, get your loved one set up on a three- or four-month maintenance schedule. Basically, it entails, every three or four months your loved one comes in for an oil change whether they need it or not. As they start coming in with their car for the oil change, and lookover and they start talking with the staff, they get used to what their car should be doing and what it’s doing now. The other thing is that it breaks up those repair bills, so you won’t have to fix the tires and the engine issues at the same time. They most likely didn’t break at the same time, why let all the repairs pile up?
By changing our way of thinking we can lessen repair bills, extend the life of the car, and keep a little bit more of the stress of daily living off our plates.