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A Different Kind of New Year's Resolutions, Just in Time for a Better 2022

While my colleague Vlad shared his thoughts on ten New Year's Resolutions for the automotive industry, I have a few vehicle-related resolutions for us vehicle owners. Most of them come from personal experience, but some refer to what happened to friends and acquaintances.
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I am not going to stick to a certain number, but provide a few suggestions that may or may not apply to your situation. I am confident that you will find the right takeaway from them, where applicable.

First, use these first three to four months of the year to get your air conditioning system sorted out if you experienced any issues with it last year. This works for your house, not just your vehicle, mind you, and it should be easier to find the most skilled specialists in the field now than it will be in May or June.

While there may not be a discount on parts or labor, you might find it easier to schedule an appointment that suits your schedule. The same logic applies if you are interested in getting gear for your motorcycle.

Just go ahead and visit your local store, and you could discover that you might be the only customer. Who knows, maybe you might even get a discount these days. This may not work in California, Texas, or Florida (just to name a few).

If online shopping for motorcycle-related gear is your thing, getting a new jacket, pants, helmet, or whatever you might need might be a better idea now when there are plenty of units in stock. Imagine making an order in March or April only to discover the products do not fit properly, and then having to send the order back, wait for a refund, and then try to order a different size.

If bad luck is your special gift from fate, you might not even find your size by the time the refund has been processed. You cannot wear a gift voucher, so avoid frustration by purchasing things ahead of time. In other words, if you have money saved up for things that go beyond emergencies, it is wise to handle things that may become issues in the summer.

Another alternative resolution for 2022 would be to stick to a tight maintenance schedule for your vehicle. Be sure to observe the manufacturer's specifications and recommendations, as well as check out recommendations on the owner's forums.

Many vehicles suffered from poor maintenance in 2021 because they were driven fewer miles in 2020 than usual, and when they got back on the road for longer journeys, some parts failed.

I was fortunate enough not to suffer from this, but others were not. Stick to a maintenance schedule even if your vehicle does not rack up the recommended mileage. Every fluid your vehicle uses has an expiration date, even if you do not drive your vehicle as much as you used to back in 2019.

From estimates made by industry experts, many vehicle owners changed their maintenance behavior and schedule in 2020, and not covering enough miles led to delaying oil changes and other basic maintenance. Some were fortunate and did not suffer any breakdowns, but others were not so fortunate.

As financial analysts warned, the price bubble for used cars in 2021 might burst in 2022, but it may be too late for those who bought used vehicles at a serious markup. If you are struggling to pay for your installments for the vehicle you currently own, try to find out if it happens to be worth more than what you paid for it.

While it might be a tough bullet to bite, selling it now instead of waiting to go underwater on loan might be a better decision overall than struggling, especially if you have years of payments ahead of you.

In the used vehicle case with high markups, that might be the situation once production resumes to normal or there is a steady supply of vehicles of that category to justify a drop in value.

If the situation described above is valid for you, we recommend contacting a professional in the field of finance to learn more about what can be done.

If nobody is willing to help, try putting it all on paper to see what can you change in your finances to improve your situation. Even when things seem dire, there may be a way out. As someone once told me last year, life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent of how you react to it.

Last but not least, approach every situation with calm, and take a deep breath before saying or doing something you might regret moments later. There is nothing to gain from being angry, except for an increased chance of a heart attack or a stroke.

Editor's note: For illustration purposes, the photo gallery features images from an Audi commercial depicting traffic.


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