CARSON, Calif., Dec. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- It might not be a cashmere sweater or an iPad mini, but with an aging population of cars on the road and an economy spurring a growing population of auto repair do-it-yourselfers (DIYers), putting together an Auto Parts 'Readiness' Kit can make a surprisingly economical, thoughtful and practical gift – one that helps car owners not only save money, but 'be prepared' to keep their vehicles running efficiently and safely.
The experts at AutoPartsWarehouse.com, one of the nation's top online auto parts and accessories retail websites, offer simple advice to help shoppers create their own Auto Parts Readiness Kit for well under $100, depending on the vehicle, by outlining a list of easy-to-install auto parts they say are essential for any car owner to have on hand ahead of routine maintenance or breakdowns. Getting caught in a sudden rainstorm with worn out wiper blades or risking a ticket because of a blown out light bulb are just a couple of problems a parts readiness kit can help car owners avoid. And, creating a kit of those common, easy-to-use replacement parts with the shortest shelf life is easy to do online – all you need to know is the vehicle make and model.
Consider the following statistics:
- Half of DIYers report they are doing more of their own auto repairs this year than last and 77% of those who typically never do repairs themselves say current economic conditions have made them more likely to attempt their own repairs.
- 51% said they'll drive their cars until the vehicle dies and 69% said they plan on driving their current vehicles 50,000 miles more than past vehicles they've owned.
- More and more consumers save time and money purchasing auto parts online, with online auto parts sales expected to reach a staggering $3.5 billion this year.
"It may not be the world's most glamorous gift, but when you consider that a majority of people spend between $500 and $1,000 each year on vehicle repairs/service/maintenance, this easy-to-put-together gift of preparedness and safety will keep on giving (and saving money) throughout the year," said Shane Evangelist, CEO of U.S. Auto Parts. "For the person who has everything, or for the first time car owner, or for those whose finances are strained with vehicle upkeep, an Auto Parts Readiness Kit makes a thoughtful and creative gift."
Following are the Top Five Essential Auto Parts that experts suggest should be included in a readiness kit, as well as Bonus Parts ideas for a more complete package. Visit AutoMD.com for "How-to Guides" if you need assistance installing the following parts.
Top Five Essential Auto Parts for a Readiness Kit:
The company says having even one or two of these parts on hand is helpful and that there are many other options for a kit like this: this is just the beginning. Always consult your owner's manual before purchasing or replacing any part. And be sure to purchase the appropriate part for the make/model of the vehicle.
1. Windshield Wiper Blades
Driver visibility is critical to safety, which is why it's essential to change your vehicle's windshield wiper blades on a routine basis to ensure a consistently clean and clear windshield in rain, snow or sleet conditions. Having a spare pair on hand can prevent the danger of poor visibility in the event you are caught in a sudden storm with worn out blades...and they are easy to replace.
Fuses are the last line of defense between your car's power features and an electrical circuit. Fuses often blow and when they do, certain electrical components of your car stop working, including exterior or interior lights, power mirrors – even your radio. It's always a good idea to have extra ones handy in time to replace your car's fuses when they stop working.
It's unsafe for you and for other drivers on the road when your car's headlights, taillights, reverse lights or turn signals aren't working properly. It's illegal too. That's why it's important to regularly check and replace your car's light bulbs when they're not functioning properly – and to have on hand in case one has blown out when you are in transit.
Routinely changing your car's filters, which are responsible for removing harmful particles from the air or from fluids such as oils or fuels, significantly improves engine life and performance. Be sure to change your air, fuel and oil filters regularly to keep your car running optimally.
Any vehicle owner knows fluids are the lifeblood of a car, so it's important to routinely check and change your car's fluids when they're dirty or running low. Keep the right levels of antifreeze and coolant in your car to protect your engine from overheating at high temperatures and freezing during cold temperatures. Carry tire sealant to fix a flat tire in a hurry, and be sure your brake and power steering fluids never run low.
Bonus Auto Parts for a Readiness Kit:
- Battery Charger
- Jumper Cables
- Electric Portable Car Jack
- Snow Chains
- Car Care Kit
If you're looking for something to hold the components of your Auto Parts Readiness Kit, check out the International Tool Storage Job Site Tool Box at AutoPartsWarehouse.com. And to make that ride last longer, protection products also make great gifts. AutoPartsWarehouse.com recommends floor mats, seat covers and cargo liners.
Established in 1995, AutoPartsWarehouse.com is one of the nation's top online auto parts and accessories retailers and is dedicated to making it easy for consumers to save money by accessing auto parts online. AutoPartsWarehouse.com offers a comprehensive catalogue of over 2 million auto parts and accessories, to fit all domestic and foreign makes from top aftermarket manufacturers. AutoPartsWarehouse.com offers consumers free shipping on orders over $50 as well as flexible payment and extended warranty plans and options. The company has parts warehouses in markets throughout the U.S. enabling rapid shipping of parts.
 AutoMD 2012 DIY Report (http://www.automd.com/about-automd/press/02-02-2012/)
 Auto Parts Warehouse Survey (September 16, 2012 – November 4, 2012)
 2012 Online Sales of Auto Parts Growing according to April 2012 Hedges & Company Report (http://hedgescompany.com/blog/2012/04/2012-online-sales-of-auto-parts/)