Are you already a member of the gig economy? Or maybe you're wondering, Is Gig Work for You? Maybe you drive rideshare. Maybe you do food delivery, because the food doesn't talk back to you. Either way, here are a few things to consider about gig economy car maintenance, because gig economy drivers put somewhere around 50k miles/year on thier vehicles.
You may have heard the saying, "Just get the oil changed every 3,000 miles and you're car will run forever." And sometimes that's true.
Until it isn't anymore.
I was driving someone to a golf course in my old-but-pristine Toyota Corolla...
Alright. Let's talk about the Corolla a sec: It's a 2005, approx. 188k miles, one owner, regular oil changes, no mechanical issues--ever. The electric window on the driver's side doesn't work great, it has a few tiny dings a scratches, which happens after 15 years, but nothing major.
So, I was driving someone to a golf course, almost there, and all of a sudden I hear clink-clink-clink-clink-clink-CLANK!-scraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatch...
The muffler came loose and was dragging under the car. Despite oil changes and carwashes, I found myself with a muffler that, somewhere in the exhuast system, had rusted all the way through and broke off. It was an akward spot--almost under my seat. I took it in to the dealership and they said it would run roughly $1,000 to fix, because they have to put in a whole new system.
(Luckily I went to a local muffler place and they were able to weld a piece in and get me back on the road for $50.)
Regardless, I could've probably avoided the whole experience if I had followed #1 on this list of:
4 Maintenance Tips for Gig Economy DriversWhether you're in the gig economy or not, if you're in the Grand Rapids, MI, area, check out Ervine Auto Repair, for service--and wherever you're from, read their blog for tips like these:
1 - Clean and Wash Your Car
If I had gotten regular car washes that got under the car, I might've been able to avoid the extreme rusting of my exhuast system. I didn't get car washes often, and when I did, it was the cheapest one. I'm not saying break the bank with a $20 wash every week, but look for places that have monthly memberships, and go in as often as necessary to get the WHOLE car cleaned off. (*If you live somewhere that uses salt on the roads in the winter, this is a must--check this page for more info about salt damage!)
And taking care of the inside makes you look more professional, along with keeping the possible resale value up.
2 - Keep up with Recommended Maintenance
They say this is especially true for oil and filter changes. I think this tip is common sense, but some people need to be told. If you stay ahead of the problems, you won't have problems. And if there is a problem, get it fixed early before it messes up an entire system, or makes for dangerous driving conditions. One article suggest doing certain checks weekly, every 3000 miles, 6000 miles, 15000 miles. Another site say the last check could be between 12000-25000 miles, depending on the age of the car.
3 - Check the Fluids
Keep your car topped off. Make sure the fluids are clean and have correct viscosity. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the correct intervals regarding how often your vehicle's different fluids need to be flushed. Fluids are important. Don't overlook them. Here's a good article called 5 Important Fluids that Keep Your Car Running Smoothly, for a deeper dive on fluids for you nerds out there.
4 - Drive Safely
It's fun to drive fast, sure. But be an adult and don't treat your money maker like a little kid treats a Happy Meal toy. Don't slam on the brakes, don't smash the accelerator. If you take turns hard, your tires, alignments, yadda, yadda, yadda.... If you drive poorly, the car will react poorly. Which, I don't think needs to be said, but here it goes: Will cost you more money, and put you in line for a new car that much quicker. Think like a business person and drive in a profesional calculated way, as to max out your profit margin over the long haul.
Thanks for Stopping By
Enjoy these tips, and check out The Gig Economy Podcast for loads more useful info! Take care of your cars, and yourselves.
Christopher Tallon writes, podcasts, and…wait a second. Are you actually reading this? High five! Follow me here: