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auto maintenance January 10, 2018

Christmas Again

In a tough economy, Christmas gifts switch from the extravagant to the practical, especially where close family members are concerned. There is no greater source of such opportunities than the car, truck, or SUV of your loved one. I’m talking about gifts that are wanted, used every day, appreciated, and long-lasting, and even potentially lifesaving. Where else could you find such opportunities?

Picture your daughter and her husband and family. They stripped their resources to the bone for the down-payment on their starter house. They’re hanging on, but barely. Looks like that eight-year-old minivan is going to have to play a few more seasons. Those tires barely passed inspection in August and now the winter sleet and snow are coming. A new set of tires is a gift that will be truly appreciated for thousands of miles and for years to come. And you’ll sleep better knowing your grandchildren are sliding down hillsides on sleds and not on their drive to school.

Same vehicle but change the relationship. You’re the husband. Don’t try tires, man – you can’t get away with that! But a new car is not in the cards and the interior of that eight-year-old minivan is getting as sticky as the Atlantic City boardwalk and as stale as a homeless shelter in February. Have it fully cleaned and professionally detailed. And make it a total surprise. You might even want to record it as your wife leaps back out assuming she has gotten into someone else’s car by mistake. It’ll make your wife very happy… and living with the old van a little easier.

There is a huge selection of electronic devices available for cars now, priced from stocking-stuffer range to major-appliance range, and men love gadgets! Wait, everyone loves gadgets! There are small devices that plug into the OBD-II connector easily found under the driver side of the dashboard. Through a Bluetooth connection they can turn a smartphone into a digital instrument cluster, providing a stream of fun, interesting, and occasionally useful information. These devices will also act as a rudimentary diagnostic tool if the “check engine light” comes on. If you’re concerned about distractions while driving, it sure beats texting. There are more expensive gadgets that turn the car into a driving Wi-Fi hot spot, but these devices often require a paid subscription, so be sure of what you’re buying.

If anyone wants to know, I’m hoping for a device I’ve seen that acts as navigation system with the direction projected onto the windshield (a heads-up display).

But getting back to the practical: your gift recipient has a car that surely needs help but you’re not sure what their need is. Why not a gift certificate from Wiygul Automotive Clinic? They’re available in denominations from $50 and up, you can be sure they’ll be getting the best auto service anywhere. Stop in and let us help you show how much you care.

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