How many times have you promised yourself on December 31 that you’d eat three servings of veggies every day or that you’d finally start waking up to your 6:30 alarm instead of hitting snooze every nine minutes? Why not set a New Year’s resolution that you’ll actually keep by focusing your attention on your car?
That’s what some of us at Motor1.com hope to do this year. Between organizing the garage, taking more scenic drives, and tidying up that blasted project car, we’ll have our hands full accomplishing our New Year’s resolutions. But you can be sure the process will be a lot more fun than weighing almonds on a kitchen scale or slashing up a household budget in Excel. You can read our specific goals below, and be sure to leave a comment to tell us what you hope to accomplish in the garage (or out on the road) in 2023.
Get The Project Car Up And Running
Here’s the predictable automotive resolution you’ll hear from everyone with a project car taking up valuable space in their garage, barn, backyard, or wherever such vehicles are squirreled away. I’d love to have mine (a 1995 Ford Taurus SHO acquired last year for purely sentimental reasons) running and driving, or at least running. It “ran when parked” three years ago, sidelined because of a transmission problem. Since then, the starter has locked up, the wheels locked up, and it generally needs a whole lotta restoration work. But it’s a rust-free Michigan car, and hey, maybe I’ll get lucky.
-Christopher Smith, News Editor - USA
More Sunday Drives
These days, driving for pleasure (as opposed to driving for a work-related reason) is a rare treat for me. Every week the press car in my driveway has to get some miles so I can generate review ideas, the kids have to go to and get picked up from daycare, groceries have to be grabbed, etc. All with a focus on utility rather than joy.
This year I’d like to make more time for driving, just for fun. I remember being a small kid and going out for drives on weekend afternoons with my Dad and brother, with no real destination in mind. I loved it. Now that they’re getting slightly more aware of the world, I think my boys might be a good reason/excuse to start a Sunday driving tradition of our own.
-Seyth Miersma, Editor-In-Chief
Organize The Tools In The Garage
I am not a neat and tidy kinda guy. As my mother, college roommates, and boyfriend Noah will tell you, I tend toward chaos when it comes to my stuff. Still, I feel an immense sense of satisfaction whenever I figure out a storage solution. For example, when my other half and I bought bikes as part of last year’s resolutions, we didn’t have a good place to keep them, so we just leaned them against the garage wall and tripped over them for nine long months. But when we finally took the time to install some ceiling hooks, my life improved disproportionately.
I’m going to press that momentum into finally sorting the tools that are currently, haphazardly sitting on a wire shelving unit, garage floor, and/or kitchen table. I have a neighbor who sells a well-known tool brand, and I’m going to get his expertise on how to best organize a tool chest so stuff is ready to go, where I want it, when I need it. I’m not unrealistic enough to expect that I’ll never misplace a socket or a pair of pliers again, but if I can keep crap off the ground 80 percent of the time, it’ll be a win.
-Brett T. Evans, Senior Editor
Give Other Drivers The Benefit Of The Doubt
I also have an unpredictable resolution, but one far more worthy of myself and society in general. I’m giving other drivers the benefit of the doubt. Last year, you may have seen a video of a guy stuck in traffic who moved to the shoulder to block others from passing. He said, “you got to follow the rules” or something like that. But it’s not his job (or yours, or mine) to enforce the rules. What if one of those drivers was trying to get someone to the hospital? What if the person you see weaving in and out of traffic is trying to get home for a family emergency?
Sure, some of them might simply be impatient jerknozzles. But some might have a real reason to be in a hurry. That’s on my mind now more than ever, and it’s why I’m not going to pass judgment on others for driving like an asshat. And you shouldn’t either.
-Christopher Smith, News Editor - USA
I’m stubborn and refuse to pay someone to do anything I can capably do myself. During my last move, I probably took twenty trips loading down my diminutive Honda Fit (thank you, Magic Seat!) rather than pay movers to do the job for me. But when working on cars, I find myself completely overwhelmed. It’s not the work that I find daunting; it’s the fear of ruining my primary mode of transportation and most significant investment to save a few hundred bucks. Simply put, I don’t trust myself under the hood.
After trading in the Fit for a 2018 Volkswagen GTI, some looming upkeep and a heftier maintenance bill have me reconsidering things. Countless Reddit threads and YouTube tutorials later, I’m starting to concede that much of the labor isn’t nearly as complicated or catastrophic as I thought. But before I do anything crazy, I’m replacing the cabin filter. Baby steps.
-Kyle Freudenberg, Associate Video Producer
Stop Deferring Maintenance
More on this later, but Noah and I gave ourselves an early Christmas present last month by buying a Lexus LX 450 with nearly 200,000 miles on the odometer. It’s the perfect amount of scruffy – I won’t feel bad when it gets some trail stripes or when the dog mucks up the upholstery with her clumsy paws – but it definitely needs some baselining before it’ll be a reliable adventure machine. And even though we got a decent deal on it, I’m still annoyed that its previous owner neglected some of the most basic maintenance, opting instead to put on a lift kit and a steel front bumper.
But I shouldn’t throw stones from the balcony of my glass house, because I myself have a long list of 20-minute tasks to accomplish on my 2006 BMW Z4. In fact, as I write this, Noah is out in the driveway tackling a few of them for me. As with any older car, the Z4 has a few issues pop up every couple of months, but since I love to procrastinate, its list of maintenance needs can feel overwhelming and inundating as the deferred items pile on top of each other.
So I’m going to set a goal of accomplishing one or two small tasks each month with the Z4. And once the Lexus gets back from its extended stay at the mechanic, I’ll do the same with that one. An hour a month feels far more doable than six hours twice a year, somehow.
-Brett T. Evans, Senior Editor
Gallery: Automotive 2023 New Year's Resolutions
It Takes A Village
If you believe memes and trolls, you’d probably assume that most New Year’s resolutions end up broken within a week. But would you also believe that goals set around January 1 are 10 percent more likely to be achieved than goals set during the rest of the year? So sound off in the comments below and let us know what you’d like to achieve in the next 364 days, and maybe we can all help each other be accountable. Happy New Year!