I used to kill plants. Not on purpose; they would just die-from drowning, neglect and even bugs. I've always been envious of people who seemed to know how to make foliage thrive. I wondered: Do they have a secret? Or is it a gift and they just know how to make things grow? My grandma had the greenest thumb ever. She passed it to my mom, and for a while I thought it was going to skip me.
To my delight, I do believe my thumb is slowing turning green! Why? Is it heredity? Is it because I now secretly sing praise songs as I water or meander through my plants and flowers? Or is it education and pure determination? When I set my mind to something, I am persistent until I succeed.
The secret, I have discovered is caring and maintenance. I want to drive up to my home and see blooming flowers. I want to walk into my shop and see lovely plants. And because I care about this, I have decided to learn what to do to make them grow. I've stumbled along the way but my persistence has yielded amazing results that my grandma would be proud of.
Just like having plants that thrive, I want a vehicle that thrives. What about you? Do you look at your vehicle as one of your biggest investments or do you consider it a pain and put off maintenance until something breaks? Where does the importance lie in your budget? Do you plan for maintenance costs or do you just try to figure out how you'll pay for a repair if/when it breaks?
I recently read an article reporting that over 80 percent of vehicles have one or more service or repairs that are needed but haven't been taken care of. Some of the neglected services are minor while others are serious safety concerns. Perhaps it's like my situation with plants: I really wanted great plants but I was not educated in their needs nor did I take the time or spend the money needed (bug sprays, plant food, etc). Your car is a heck of a lot more important than a bunch of plants. It is one of your biggest investments which other investments rely on. You need your vehicle to get you to and from work so you are able to afford your home and lifestyle. Your vehicle also transports your family safe and sound to all sorts of destinations. Do you understand the importance of maintenance and timely repairs or is it one of the last things on your list to care for because it's not fun, takes time and sometimes costs more than you anticipate? Let's explore possible reasons for procrastination and how to overcome them.
Do you trust what you are being told by your auto shop? Do they explain the repair to you, help you understand the importance of the service or maintenance item(s)? Offer to show you the problem? Answer your questions?
Trust is of the utmost importance in the automotive industry. Reputable shops are eager to help you understand. They base their recommendations for maintenance from manufacturer standards. They want your questions. They want your confidence, because if you are confident in your auto-home, you will be back, you will tell others and you will appreciate the relationship you have with them.
Getting your vehicle repaired is not nearly as fun as shopping at the mall for a new pair of shoes or getting your hair done, but both of those are maintenance items, right? You spend time browsing for just the right pair or sit in the chair with anticipation of looking good at the end of your time investment. What do you get at the end of your time at your auto-home? The same exact car that you started with.
But let's remember what that car does for you. It gets you to work so you can pay for your new shoes and your fancy new haircut. It keeps you and your kids safe. It is a great big piece of equipment that needs attention on a regular basis so you can rely on it during your busy days.
The best part is, it can be a great experience! Find yourself an auto-home that's comfy to wait in. Make a morning or even a day of it (depending on the services you need). Take a book or your laptop. Work from the lobby. If you don't have time to wait, most shops offer a shuttle service for your convenience.
Auto repair and maintenance is not inexpensive. This is another reason to find an auto shop you can trust. They are there to educate you on the health of your vehicle and give you their professional opinion in how to proceed. They work hard to keep your vehicle healthy with the services they recommend based on their expertise.
Put vehicle maintenance and repairs in your budget-setting a certain amount aside each month to take care of this needed expense so when your vehicle needs some TLC, it won't be a financial hardship. When there is a real budget concern, let them know. Perhaps there are different options for the repair. They can also prioritize the work that needs to be done and work with you with a plan that is more feasible for your budget without compromising safety.
The secret to having a vehicle that thrives is the same as I discovered with my plants: caring and maintenance. Spending time and money on your vehicle is not fun but if you find an auto shop you trust, plan for the time services take and allocate part of your budget to your vehicle, your experience can be a good one.
By Jeana Babcock