A new car is a graduation present for many, so it’s important that you understand how to maintain it. That way, you’ll be able to drive it for years to come and avoid expensive repairs.
If you’re not familiar with your car’s maintenance requirements, read your owner’s manual. It will tell you everything from what fuel octane to use to how much air pressure your tires should have.
Read Your Owner’s Manual
Taking care of your vehicle is crucial, and your owner’s manual can help you do so. It will tell you what your car needs and how much it takes, as well as when and how you should schedule regular maintenance to keep it in great shape.
Most people have this book tucked away in the glove box, but it’s a good idea to open it up and read it regularly. It contains everything you need to know about your car and how to take care of it, from the right type of oil to what the warning lights on your dashboard mean.
In addition to this information, it can also tell you about other features of your vehicle that you might not have known about. For example, some cars have a feature that allows you to lower the windows just a little bit when it’s hot outside.
The more you know about your car, the easier it will be to diagnose problems and communicate with mechanics when you need to have them repaired. It can also save you money and help you avoid costly repairs down the road.
Modern vehicles have many custom settings that need to be set up when you purchase the car, such as the tone you use to unlock the vehicle or the sensitivity of your automatic headlights. This can be challenging if you’re not a tech-savvy driver, but with the help of your owner’s manual, you’ll be able to customize your car and get a great driving experience.
Your manual will also contain valuable information on the safety features of your car, such as how to use the wipers, turn signals, and hazard lights. These safety features will protect you and others on the road if something goes wrong.
Another important reason to crack open your owner’s manual is to learn common car terminology. This can make communicating with your mechanic easier and will allow you to understand what they’re talking about when they use words like recommended and required.
It’s also a good idea to read the manual before you take your car in for routine maintenance, such as oil changes and fluid checks. This will ensure you’re getting the best performance out of your car and that it won’t need any expensive repairs down the road.
Learn Common Car Terminology
Cars are complex machines made up of many different parts that work together to function efficiently and safely. Understanding how each part works can help you to maintain your vehicle and prevent expensive repairs down the road.
Fortunately, it’s not as complicated as it sounds to learn the proper terms for your vehicle’s components and accessories. Whether you’re reading your owner’s manual, chatting with your mechanic or researching your next vehicle online, it’s important to know what you’re talking about.
A vehicle’s engine is an essential part of the overall powertrain, and it has a significant impact on the vehicle’s performance and fuel economy. Knowing the terms for various engine components can help you understand what’s going on with your vehicle and can also give you some helpful insight into how to fix problems.
ABS: Short for anti-lock brake system, this braking technology helps you stop your vehicle in an emergency by preventing the wheels from locking up.
ESC: Electronic Stability Control is another system that can help you keep your vehicle in control by monitoring traction and taking counter-measures to return the vehicle to stability, such as reducing engine power or braking.
TPS: Torsional rigidity is a measure of how resistant a vehicle’s body is to twisting forces, which can improve NVH and handling. It’s a good idea to look for a car that has high torsional rigidity if you’re planning on driving in a lot of rough terrain.
RPM: Revolutions per minute is a measurement of how fast an engine turns, and it’s a common metric for the speed of cars. It’s often used in comparison with a car’s top speed, which can be useful when shopping for your next new car or when you’re looking for a replacement part for your current vehicle.
Crank: The crankshaft of an engine is the most common moving component inside a vehicle. It’s a rotating part that moves the pistons and other engine parts, and it can be replaced with a new one when necessary.
Schedule Regular Checkups
Keeping your car in good shape is important, just like maintaining your health. We all get regular checkups from our doctors and other medical professionals to ensure that we are in good shape and don’t have any major problems that could become expensive to fix down the line.
We’ve all been there: The car won’t start, we have a flat tire on a long trip, or we suddenly notice that the engine light has come on and we need to head to the shop right away. Fortunately, all these problems can be easily avoided by scheduling regular maintenance checks and paying attention to the vehicle while you’re on the road. Finding a trusted car Mechanic will save you a lot of trouble in the future.
Scheduled maintenance visits usually cover fluid levels, such as oil, power steering, and brake fluids. These should be monitored frequently and replaced when necessary to keep the vehicle operating properly.
Also, a thorough inspection of your vehicle’s engine and cooling system should be performed at every maintenance visit. This will allow your mechanic to catch any potential issues that may arise.
The owner’s manual for your specific vehicle will list the maintenance intervals that should be followed. However, these can vary by make and model so be sure to consult your mechanic for guidance.
If your vehicle is a newer model, it should have a factory recommended maintenance schedule in its owner’s manual. This schedule will tell you exactly when to bring it in for services such as oil changes, tire rotations, and wheel alignments.
It’s a good idea to talk with your mechanic about a maintenance schedule that is right for you and your vehicle, since this will help extend the life of the vehicle and save you money on repairs down the line.
As you can see, the benefits of staying on top of your vehicle’s maintenance are enormous. Besides saving you time and money, it can also help protect you and your family from accidents and other issues on the road.
Taking care of your vehicle can also prevent costly repairs and improve its resale value. Be sure to check out the following auto maintenance checklist for a comprehensive schedule of all the important things that you should be checking on and bringing your vehicle in for regularly.
Know Your Tires
Your tires are a critical part of your vehicle, supporting a quarter of its weight. It is important to know how to take care of them to prevent costly repair bills and accidents.
You can easily check the health of your tires through a few simple checks. You can also have them inspected by a professional to ensure that they are functioning properly.
Depending on how old your tires are, they may have wear bars and other indicators that can tell you when it’s time to replace them. In addition, a quick glance at the sidewall can tell you when a tire’s sides are worn down from potholes or curbs.
When your tires are in good condition, they will grip the road and help divert water to keep you from hydroplaning. If you have a bald tire, it won’t be doing its job as effectively, and you may not be able to control your vehicle or avoid accidents.
If you notice a noticeable squeak or squeal when driving, this could be a sign that your tires are starting to leak. It’s not worth taking chances; make sure to have the car inspected by a professional as soon as you can.
Another way to tell when your tires are getting too worn is by checking their tread depth. Many new tires have a built-in tread wear indicator that shows when the tread is below a certain level. Alternatively, you can use a penny to test the depth of your tire.
It is also a good idea to have your tires rotated periodically, as this can prevent uneven wear and tear on the treads. It is especially important to have your tires rotated when you have your oil changed or get a tune-up.
Lastly, you should always check the air pressure in your tires. Overinflating your tires can decrease their traction and increase the risk of a blowout. It is a good idea to keep your tires at the proper pressure, but don’t exceed the maximum recommended pressure on your vehicle.
Taking a crash course on car maintenance will prepare you to take care of your vehicle, and it will help you avoid costly repairs down the line. You will also be able to spot small problems before they become expensive and difficult to fix.