If you know very little about cars or aren’t particularly a part of the “car culture,” ;then taking care of your car won’t come naturally. But just like buying a new phone, you don’t just need to know what it can do. You also need to take care of it. Below are some helpful tips for beginners, and hopefully, they can help you get started.
Read the Manual!
As a first-time car owner, you should make it a top priority to be familiar with your car and read the manual. As with any machine you own, you’d want to understand how it works and what to do in certain situations. On your manual, you’d find operational instructions, features like child lock, and specifications. Also, whatever troubleshooting you might want to do with your new car, you’ll most likely find it in the manual.
If you are buying a used car, make sure you get a copy of the manual. You can ask the previous owner if they still have the copy, but you can also try to get ahold of your car’s manual from the manufacturer’s website. Make sure to keep the manual and read it. Not only will you understand your car better, but you’ll also know some interesting and useful information in there, like what to do when you lock yourself out.
Regularly Check Your Tires
Everyone understands how important tires are. After all, they’re the ones making sure that your car moves smoothly and safely. However, not everyone knows how to take care of them. For one, you shouldn’t subject your tires (and your car) to the terrain it’s not suited for, nor to travels it’s not exactly geared for. You shouldn’t just pack all your stuff into your car and drive 200 miles to where you’re moving.
That’s why you hire professional movers for that. Knowing how much air pressure your tire needs will also help you keep it in the best condition, prolonging its longevity and lifespan while you’re at it. Additionally, learning how to change a tire is a skill every car owner should be familiar with, so if you don’t know how to change a tire yet, now’s the time.
Schedule Your Oil Change
Traditionally, oil is changed every 3,000 miles or so. However, car technology has improved considerably enough that the recommended miles to change your oil is between 5,000 to 8,000 miles. It’s entirely dependent on the specific engine of your car as well, as some are optimized to even go up to 15,000 miles before requiring an oil change.
Despite this, it’s best to know when you’re supposed to change the engine’s oil as indicated in your manual. Make sure to schedule when you see it fast approaching, as the last thing you want is to completely forget it and end up damaging your engine permanently.
Have Other Fluids Checked
Besides engine oil, there are other fluids in your car that need servicing. Those other fluids being radiator fluid, transmission fluid, windshield washer fluid, and power-steering fluid. Knowing what these are will help you a lot in understanding more about your car. Knowing their purposes will help, but you don’t have to dig in too deep. What’s important here is to understand that these other fluids need changing, so make sure not to neglect them. Learn to monitor your car’s fluids on a semi-regular basis and know what fluid loss is like so you can prevent it.
Regularly Check Your Battery
Another thing that most people might not be aware of is that cars have internal batteries for their other components. This battery should be changed after around four years of use and has its own maintenance routine. It’s relatively simple enough. Don’t leave your car in extreme temperatures (be it hot or cold), change it every four years or so, and add water to it carefully in the instance that it heats up. Of course, you can also hire a professional mechanic to maintain it for you, but understand that it’s there, and it’s another thing to be aware of.
Taking care of a car is a lot like taking care of a desktop computer. If you’re not familiar with it, you might end up damaging it in the long run. If you’re not too careful, you might irreparably break it after a few uses. However, learning more about your car is crucial if you want to have one that lasts. Learning more about cars will help you considerably, and even save you money.