QOTD: How Late Do You Leave Your Car Maintenance?

Illustration for article titled QOTD: How Late Do You Leave Your Car Maintenance?
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

As much as we might like to be, we aren’t always on top of things. Shit happens, and life gets in the way. Suddenly that oil change you kind of could have used a month ago is now a desperate necessity. How late do you leave your car maintenance?


Thanks to the good influence of my husband and several years of frequent trips across the country, I’ve gotten much better about preempting maintenance. I treat my car to a nice refresh every time I get ready to drive somewhere, and I make sure I cart around my care package in the trunk: oil, washer fluid, coolant, you name it.

But with this pandemic, I have been bad. I’m not going anywhere, so why should I preemptively get my car inspection done? Why not wait until the very last second before my tags expire? Why should I go get winter tires before the first big snow—it’s not like I’m going to have to go anywhere? Why change the wiper blades if I can just avoid making a grocery run in gross weather?

(Am I regretting that fact at this exact moment, while we face down a snowstorm of massive proportions? Maybe.)

It is Not Great. As my husband pointed out the other day: what happens if we lose power during a storm, and someone needs to go get gas to power the generator?

It got me wondering who else is in the same boat, because I know my chronic laziness isn’t great, but it’s definitely not rare. My brother, for example, waits to pay his tuition until the day before it’s due. Hell, my husband didn’t even bother taking his winter tires off after last winter—the only reason he’s ready for this winter is because he never stopped being ready after last winter.

I can’t be the only one. How late do y’all leave your car maintenance? 

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.