Attention all readers: The end of the year approaches. What does that mean for everyone, why New Years Resolutions of course. I have been thinking about this a lot and have come up with a few good automotive related resolutions I plan on sticking to this year.
My first resolution is to get out and drive more. Yes I already drive a good amount, I live in Southern California so I have to, but I am talking about real driving not commuting. Being in SoCal, I drive quite a bit just commuting, but I also have access to some of the best roads anywhere. The canyons around here are perfect, we have great weather year-round and all the roads are kept in great condition. There are so many canyon roads around here that most of them aren't particularly crowded, and almost all of the time, the cops really do find better things to do than ticket people making noise in the middle of no where.
Everyone makes a yearly resolution to take better care of themselves whether it be watching their diet, exercise more, lower their cholesterol, get regular check-ups whatever. Well I intend to do the same with my car. Even though I am a serious car guy and should know better, I don't really take as good of care of my cars as I should. Oil change intervals are way too long, arguably-unnecessary tune-ups have been ignored and my cars spend way too much time filthy. The filthy part I have a decent excuse for, I live close to the beach so I wash my car and then the next morning I come out and it's covered in condensation so I can't keep a car clean for more than a day. That isn't really that great of an excuse, but I'm sticking to it. With that said I still will keep the cars cleaner than they have been.
Speaking of people taking care of themselves, the big resolution is always to loose weight. I intend to do the same thing with my cars. I intend to start a serious modding program with my cars and I would like to take weight into consideration with everything I do. I won't pick wheels solely on aesthetics, I will find something light and strong. When I do engine mods I would like to replace them with lighter components. I plan on brake upgrades on all my cars. I can't do anything about moments of inertia, but I can put on the lightest brakes I can find that offer the performance I need.
I guess as long as I am talking about spending hundreds to save a few pounds I should look at the easiest place to shave a few pounds, the driver. I have put on a few more pounds than I should have since college. I went from a competitive athlete that trained everyday, to a cubicle drone that exercised when he had time. I figure if I can shave 20 or 30 pounds off my 6'2" frame it will be the cheapest performance boost I'm going to get. I worry about ounces on a component, but for some reason it never enters my mind when I am ordering that slice of Motherload Chocolate Cake after a rediculously large meal.
My last resolution is going to be to spread the love of cars as much as I can. I will encourage other people to get into cars. I will teach a friend how to drive a manual transmission. When I have an exotic car as a tester, I will make it a point to talk to everyone that has questions about it.
I encourage everyone to make their own list of automotive resolutions. Think what you want accomplish this year with your car. Decide on a direction and stick to it. Sure this may not be as important in the grand scheme of things than quitting a nicotine habit, but you won't need a patch for this.