While most people in America own and drive cars, a surprisingly small number of them actually know how to maintain their vehicles. In most categories of car maintenance, less than 50% of drivers said they were confident doing these things.
Chances are, you’re one of these drivers who aren’t sure about how to take care of a car.
If that’s the case, then keep reading. We’ll cover all the basic car knowledge you need to know.
Keep Your Car Clean
It’s always a good idea to keep your car clean since clutter can affect your mood and state of mind. Seeing a car that’s clean both inside and out can make you feel happier and motivate you to be more productive as well.
But that’s not all it’s good for. When you regularly keep your car clean, it can get you a better resell value in the future. Or if you want to trade it in for another car, it’ll get you a better car as well.
Either way, ensuring your vehicle is as clean as possible is a win-win situation for you.
You should consider something like professional ceramic coating, as it’ll both protect your car and keep it looking great. Learn more about this process from Exotic Window Tint.
Check and Change Your Oil
Wait, isn’t oil the same thing as gas, the thing you fill up your car with? In fact, it’s actually not.
The oil is located at the front of your vehicle and you can check it by bringing out the dipstick and looking at the level. It’s very easy to do, but you can have your mechanic show you how to do it the next time you bring your car in for a service.
In general, you need to have your oil changed every 3,000 to 3,500 miles. You might be able to stretch it a little farther than that, but try not to go over 5,000 unless absolutely necessary.
The oil is vital in keeping your engine running smoothly, so you need to be vigilant about keeping an eye on its level. Once it gets low, have it changed by your mechanic. You can also learn to change it yourself if you want to save a few bucks.
Check and Change Your Air Filter
A clean air filter allows your engine to work properly as well. If it’s all clogged up with debris, it can increase your emissions as well as make your car’s fuel efficiency worse.
Checking and changing the air filter is really easy to do; all you need to do is check your owner’s manual. Not only will it tell you how often you should be changing the air filters, but it’ll also give you thorough instructions on how to do replace them.
Check Your Battery Performance
The worst thing that could happen is your vehicle’s battery dying and leaving you stranded somewhere remote. You can purchase multimeter for not much and test your car battery frequently.
Just hook up the multimeter to the battery and it’ll tell you how much juice it has left. With the engine off, you should have around 12.6 volts; with the engine on, it should be over 10.
If the voltage isn’t around 12.6 volts and drops to under 5 when you start the engine, this means you need to replace your battery.
Make Sure Your Windshield Wipers Are Functional
Maybe it hasn’t really rained recently, so you haven’t flipped on your windshield wipers in a while.
Do you actually know if they’re still functional though? You don’t want to wait until you have to use them in a huge storm, only to find out they’re hanging on by a thread and can barely wipe anything away.
Once in a while, check your windshield wipers to see if they work fine. A great way to test it is to use the windshield wiper fluid and then see how well the wipers get rid of that liquid.
This is a fantastic way to check if you still have wiper fluid. You shouldn’t wait until it’s almost empty though; make sure you check it every once in a while and top it up so you never run out.
Check Your Tire Pressure and Treads
Have you ever ridden a bike where the tires weren’t properly inflated? You probably had to work a lot harder to get things going. Plus, it’s harder to stop and gives you less control over your bike.
The same concept goes for your car’s tires. You’ll need to check them from time to time to ensure they’re inflated correctly. Consult with your owner’s manual to find out what the right range is.
You also need to check on the treads. In general, you can perform the quarter test.
Place a quarter with Washington’s head upside-down into the tread. If you can see the top of his head, then this means the treads are worn out and you need to replace your tires.
Check All Windows and Lights Work
Do a once-over of your windows to ensure there are no cracks. If you spot any, get them fixed straight away, as they can quickly grow into larger, more expensive repairs. They may also compromise your safety while on the road too.
Also, every few weeks or so, turn on all the lights on your car, both inside and out. This can tell you right away if you need to replace things like the headlights.
Know How to Take Care of a Car
Now that you know how to take care of a car, you’ll be able to keep it in better shape. As a result, this means you’ll save some money. Not only will you be able to perform basic maintenance tasks, but you’ll also prevent breakdowns from happening.
So invest a little time into learning about car and engine maintenance, and you’ll definitely see it pay off. This will help not just your current car, but any other ones you purchase in the future.
For more car tips, please take a look at our other blog articles.