Avoiding the ‘Idiot Light’

When I was first learning to drive, my dad told me that the check oil light, what he called the idiot light, should never come on. If I ever saw that light it meant I had been neglecting the basic maintenance of my car, and I should expect to have other problems start to creep up.

Some garages put a helpful sticker letting you know at what mileage you should get your next oil change, but that’s not the only thing we need to do to keep our cars running smoothly. Checking the fluids, rotating and balancing tires, aligning wheels, inspecting the battery … there’s a pretty long list of checks that need to be done at different intervals.

That’s where LoggingIt comes in.

To keep your car in perfect shape you really only have to develop two habits. First, whenever you get maintenance or repairs for your car, it goes in the log. This takes a few seconds and can be done while you’re waiting for the mechanic to finish (with plenty of time to spare, in my experience).

For anything that needs to be done regularly, like getting the oil changed, you can add a note to the log telling you when it will need to be done again. Then, at the beginning of each month, you check the log for anything that might be coming up, add it to your planner, and pat yourself on the back for your diligence.

You can also include reminders about getting new tags and having your emissions checked so that you never get pulled over for expired tags. It’s just the kind of detail that comes up infrequently enough to be overlooked, but can suddenly cost you a couple hundred bucks if it’s a police officer who reminds you of it.

Aside from never missing a beat with car maintenance, this log allows you to keep track of what garages you have gone to, what your experiences were, how long the repairs took and, most importantly, how much you were charged for repairs and services.

Over time, this record will show you which garages are worth visiting and which should be passed over for taking too long, charging too much or unprofessional behavior.

That fact is that keeping track of such minute details over years or decades is simply beyond most people’s memory, but with LoggingIt you don’t have to remember a thing. Just check in from time to time and you’ll have all the information you need right at your fingertips.

I decided as a teenager that I’d never let the idiot light come on, or at least never let dad find out if it did, but with LoggingIt there’s really no excuse for missing scheduled oil changes. A few minutes per month is all you need to keep everything in working order.


For more information on how to use LoggingIt to keep track of car maintenance and many other activities, visit us at LoggingIt.com.




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