As you get older, the need to drive doesn’t seem to slow down though it may be a bit tougher as your motor skills and response and reaction times tend to slow with age. Keeping yourself and other drivers on the road safe is the number one priority and with roads more crowded than ever with cars, minimizing your chances for risk and accident will help make sure that you stay safe and can continue to drive wherever you may need to go. Now, aging doesn’t automatically mean that all of your driving ability will just magically disappear but it’s important that you make the proper modifications and adjustments to your vehicle and your driving habits to keep yourself safe. These are just a few of the easiest ways to maximize your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road.
- Make Your Health Your Top Priority– Staying in shape is a great way to extend the time you can drive and regular check ups will not only help your driving but also your overall condition. Having your eyes and hearing checked annually will make sure that your corrective lenses are current so that if you need a change in prescription or hearing aids you can get them before needing to drive anywhere. You can also talk with a doctor about any side effects medications may have on your driving abilities. The last step to ensuring you’re in good enough health for driving is to get plenty of sleep each night, this is key for your motor skills to stay as sharp as possible and to make sure that you can stay alert for any potential hazards or sudden split decisions you may need to make.
- Choose the Proper Car for You– If you’re an older driver, finding the right car will go a long way to helping make driving simple for you as well. Choosing a car with automatic transmission and power steering and brakes will minimize how active you have to be with the actual process of driving and will allow more attention and focus to be paid to the road and other drivers. Once you’ve got your vehicle, be sure to have routine maintenance performed annually as well as maintaining clean and operational headlights and windows/windshields.
- Drive Defensively– Distracted driving now more than ever is all too common on the roads; with cell phones being used for music, GPS and texting, chances are that you’ll need to start driving more defensively to help keep you safer. To do this, leave extra room for the car ahead of you and pay extra attention when at an intersection, you should also be sure you’re traveling with the flow of traffic and not too fast or too slow. Avoid all potential distractions for you like talking on the phone or reading GPS or maps. If you need to clarify directions, first pull over when possible and also be sure to leave yourself enough room to brake safely in case of sudden stops or wet/icy conditions.
- Know Your Limitations Behind the Wheel– An important part of driving as you get older is accepting the limitations in your abilities and conditions when it comes to driving. This means that if you feel uncomfortable in a certain situation or condition then to schedule your driving around those times. Typically avoided conditions are usually during the night, especially if your eyesight is worse in the night and then also during the mid afternoon when traffic will be heavier due to after school traffic and other times like weekends where there will be more and more drivers on the roads. Knowing your limitations will help ensure that you only drive when completely confident and capable.
As you get older, you may not be driving as much as you used to but when you do need to drive, it’s just as important as ever. While your reflexes and eyesight may lead to limitations on what times and how often you drive but knowing and understanding your limitations will help you stay prepared so that when you do drive it will be confidently to maximize your safety and the safety of other drivers out on the road.
First let’s state the obvious: owning a car is a constant and expensive, commitment. Depending on the model and brand you choose, it can even require you follow strict and specific service and repair plans to make sure your vehicle stays running in perfect condition.
With this in mind, oftentimes owners will look for ways to cut costs and expenses a little, usually by buying less than manufacture brand parts or in some cases looking for service centers that are a little easier on the wallet.
While this isn’t necessarily a wrong approach, it’s important that you consider what exactly it is that needs service and decide from there whether or not it’s worth saving a few dollars now or if it’ll eventually cost you much more later on.
Use reliable mechanics for transmission work
For instance, when you hear the dreaded phrase; “it’s the transmission,” you know that the cost of whatever comes next is going to be anywhere from “use the credit card” to “here’s the key to my house” in terms of price. When it comes to the transmission though, it’s important to make sure you always use reliable (and yes, likely expensive) service mechanics that will use high quality parts and have years of experience working on transmissions.
It’s safe to say that the transmission is one of the most essential parts of your vehicle, next to the engine; it’s arguably the most important so you must remember to treat it like it is.
Question to consider before repairing transmission
Here are a few questions to consider when it comes to repairing your transmission:
- What does the transmission even do? The transmission is what lets your vehicle shift gears and pick up speed and power. Whether you have a manual transmission or an automatic one, the amount of wear and tear that can occur requires routine maintenance to keep it free of debris and build-up as well as to make sure there are no fluid leaks or damaged parts. Experienced mechanics will usually perform extensive diagnostic testing to make certain they know exactly where the problem is before suggesting any repairs, let alone costly transmission repairs. Going somewhere cheaper could result in less attentive testing and misdiagnoses of issues that will cost far more in the long term.
- Why is transmission work so expensive? Contrary to popular belief, not all transmission work is as expensive as the stories would make you think. If you have your transmission checked and the transmission fluid changed regularly every 30,000-50,000 miles you can limit the build up of fluids or other debris. Where transmission work can get expensive is when these routine service checks go unattended to, allowing more and more fluid build up which can lead to needing your transmission rebuilt or replaced completely. Rebuilding a transmission is a labor extensive process and whether the needed repair is simple like a fluid change or replacing a sensor or it’s a bit more in depth like a malfunctioning computer system, the labor will be a majority of the expense. When it comes to complete transmission replacements, that’s where you’ll find the most expensive repairs. The average cost to replace an automatic transmission is between $1,000-$2,000 and can be substantially more depending on the vehicle you have. Fortunately for manual transmission drivers, replacing the transmission will normally cost less than an automatic one.
- So Why Can’t I Go Somewhere Cheaper? Of course, there’s no one forcing you to go the most expensive work possible done but there aren’t many more times that the phrase “you get what you pay for” rings quite as true. When you try to save on costs, you’ll usually run into one of two things: less knowledgeable mechanics that don’t have the years of experience and confidence in their work or less than quality parts used for repairs that won’t be able to hold up as long as the more expensive, manufacture parts, not to mention the warranties and guarantees that usually come with the more expensive parts or from the more expensive mechanics.
Lastly, cutting costs now can lead to more expenses later on should the part break or malfunction early or the work performed be poor, there could be much more concern for the condition to get worse. When it comes to your car, it’s too important to your day to day life to take the risk, you need your vehicle working dependably and the best way to obtain that piece of mind is to make sure you take your car to trustworthy and experienced mechanics for repairs.