Left to my own devices, I’m not the best at keeping up with regular car maintenance. Since most automotive repairs are timed in mileage, it’s easy to let a deadline zoom right past.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t have a mental alarm that goes off when I hit 3,000 miles, so I’m going to share my Baskets! system for keeping my car on the road.
I got this idea from the previous owner of my mom’s powder blue ’88 Oldsmobile, that we call “Etta May”…
When we bought her in ’00, we found a little spiral bound notebook in the glove compartment that detailed every oil change, tuneup, and major repair ol’ Etta May had undergone. It was a simple setup — the previous owner had just written the date, what service the car had received and the car’s mileage. I also added a column with the cost of the repair to help me budget for future repairs and tuneups.
That covers what work the car has already had, but what about what it needs? I did a little snooping through my owner’s manual and online to find recommended service intervals and made a chart of what needs looking at and when. I keep that in the front of the book. Whenever I’m getting started on a long trip, I’m sitting in my car for a minute, or anytime I have something to add to the book, I look over the chart and see what’s coming up.
My final tip? Keep a sharpened pencil with the notebook. You’re way less likely to steal the pencil for other writing needs.