Hey, wake up! We’re here now! We’ve arrived! It’s 2016 and all of those car projects you were going to do this winter aren’t done. You know it and I know it. Why do I know it? Because my stuff isn’t done either!

Every fall I make a huge list of improvements and progress I want to make on my cars over the winter, and every spring nothing is running or looking quite the way I wanted because I think I have plenty of time. In my little cozy winter brain I see a few twenty-minute jobs with a few easily attainable parts. I’m old and experienced enough to know better, yet every year I do the same.[pullquote align=”right”]Then, on the first nice day, I immediately look at the salt residue on the street and think, “Crap, I didn’t put in the new fuel filter and I sure can’t get one at Auto Zone![/pullquote]There are no twenty-minute jobs with easily attainable parts! If there were I would have done them in the summer.

What I really did was put off lots of little things during the driving season to do over the winter. I put them on a list, and then moved the list out of sight while I enjoyed a little down time. Then, on the first nice day, I immediately look at the salt residue on the street and think, “Crap, I didn’t put in the new fuel filter and I sure can’t get one at Auto Zone!” So I pull out the carefully filed list, curse myself for not paying attention, again, and promise myself I will order the parts this week. Usually I don’t, because it snows again and I get depressed and angry that it won’t turn 70 degrees in Chicago by the second week in March. Yes, I do this every year!

Because the end of April is a bad time to try and begin your work. Everyone without ADD bought your parts, and your parts will be backordered until June. Many of the parts you do buy will be wrong, junk, or just won’t fit and need to be returned. The parts that are right will also need a companion part, that wasn’t mentioned in the repair book, which is also back ordered, junk, or forged from unobtainium. You lose a minimum of a week or so for every part issue keeping you from finishing your project and enjoying your car!

For my racing friends, here’s a good place to start:

  • Look at the expiration dates on your belts
  • Check the pressure in your fire system
  • Check the build date and foam in your fuel cell
  • Make sure there were no last minute tech issues on your log book
  • Buy new tires now, and get them mounted and balanced
  • How were your pads and rotors at the end of last season?
  • Do you have a current physical on file or in hand?

We all know the drill and somehow this year the stars will align and I can get everything ready in a few hours without any issues. That is hilarious!

So, find or create your list of to-dos for your car. Carefully review the anticipated parts needed, and get to it! Start today! Any day now the and emails will be coming in about Spring tours, drives and driving schools. This year, extend your season, and lets get ready and enjoy an early start this year.

Check this site for racing and driving events I hope to be participating in this year, they will be added soon. All are welcome – let’s have some fun!

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