In February our thoughts turn to loved ones and the relationships we have - or the ones we wish we had. Valentine's Day visions of cute flying babies armed with bows and arrows, long-stemmed red roses and delicious chocolates tend to fill most people’s thoughts. Some curse this season - either for ruining the dieter's New Year's resolution, or for the painful reminder they haven’t found that ONE special person, yet. Being the charming and hopeless romantic that I am, I tend to go with thoughts of the heart; and by the heart, I mean the low, but fierce pur -- of the engine in my truck! You thought I was going to say my wife didn’t you??
The engine in today’s finely tuned vehicles is equivalent to that organ in our chest. And like the human heart it needs nourishment, exercise and care if we want it to last.
For starters, let’s talk about nourishment - fuel - for your vehicle’s heart. Before I began working for the most amazing in-laws ever at Inmon Auto, I spent 5 years in the wholesale gasoline market. I’ve been to countless seminars for every major brand of gasoline you can think of and I’ve been told over and over that brand A is better than brand B. (I admit I have favorite brands of fuel; but that’s mostly due to the reward programs they offer.)
What I learned is that all “branded” (ie the big guy’s - you know who they are) fuel is meticulously tested to meet those manufacturer's very high standards, and beyond. So, as long as you are buying branded fuel, you’ll be providing the clean nutrients your vehicle requires. I’m not saying that the unnamed gas station down the road is bad, I just trust major name brands. (Take that for what you want). If your vehicle requires premium fuel, I suggest using it. If it calls for mid grade, I suggest using that. The engineers that designed your car did so with a certain grade fuel in mind. Higher quality fuel tends to feed your engine as designed, so you can exercise/use your vehicle as needed.
My doctor wants me to work out and stay off the couch. Our vehicles need to hit the gym too. Regular driving keeps their hearts moving, properly lubed up and firing efficiently. Engines are complicated machines that must get used to avoid problems. At one time I had a sales territory that spanned from Jacksonville to Miami. The company truck I drove got lots of exercise, and my personal vehicle got left at home “on the couch”. It was a vehicular couch potato. I couldn’t rely on it to start, and run like it should. On the other hand, the company truck I drove (and drove) only needed its scheduled maintenance and some minor repairs to keep running smoothly and reliably.
Along with good diet and exercise, caring for your vehicles’ engine is necessary to keep you on the road and off of the repair rack. I’ve finally hit the age where my doctor added a baby aspirin to my daily vitamins to keep me going and help prevent heart issues.
In my last blog I mentioned I have a baby girl due at the end of April. I want to be around to watch her grow up - and hopefully move out, unlike my sister who still lives at home. . . but I digress. The engineers who designed your vehicle, also designed a maintenance schedule specifically to keep that engine healthy. Changing the fluids, filters, belts and hoses are crucial for a happy, healthy engine. Simple maintenance has a tremendous impact on prolonging the life of your investment. I recently welcomed a “newish” truck to my family and I plan on loving and caring for it exactly as the manufacturer suggests, so it can pay me back long after the monthly payments end.
Your body’s heart and your vehicle’s engine are both crucial to moving through this modern life. As we drive through February - bombarded with sales pitches to show our love to each other, don’t forget about your other relationship - the one with your vehicle.
Honestly, who else gets you to and from work, school, the grocery store and the gym, all the while protecting your family and friends as you chauffeur them around? You guessed it! Whether it's a classic beauty, an old junker or “brand new off the lot wheels”, good nutrition, regular exercise and scheduled maintenance are essential to keeping your engine running and that relationship strong.
From the bottom of my engine, Happy Valentines Day!