When we jump in our cars, most of us expect to turn the key and just go. Well, what happens when it doesn’t work that way, and there’s no one home? Well, this is where knowing a few essential car maintenance tips can come in handy.
There are a few basic things that everyone should learn either when they start driving or even before. If you can work a cell phone or computer, this stuff is a breeze. Continue reading to learn how to make sure your car stays in tip-top shape for years to come.
1. Check the Air Filters
Air filters filter the dust and other contaminants out in order to keep your engine clean. When they become clogged with dirt, the amount of air that reaches your engine is reduced, and this causes problems with performance and fuel economy. Most experts recommend changing your air filter every 30,000 miles or once a year. If you travel on a lot of dirt roads, you should check it more often.
2. Change Windshield Wiper Blades
Windshield wipers aren’t something that most people think about until they aren’t working. If you’re caught in a storm, and they need replacement, you put yourself and others in danger. Faulty wipers need to be replaced immediately.
3. Change a Flat Tire
Most people figure if they get a flat, they can simply use their cell phone to call roadside assistance to come out and change the tire for them. Well, what if you’re in an area with no cell phone service and you have to change it on your own, and you don’t know how? Basically, you’d be stuck waiting for someone to come by to help. This is why you must know how to change a tire.
4. Change the Oil & Check Fluids
Checking your oil and fluids is relatively easy. The area where the fluids are is clearly marked on the container. All you need to do is make sure they are full. They also make this easy and have an indicator either on the container or on the container’s lid. Most people believe your oil should be changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles depending on the age of your car but with the advancements in car technology, you may not need to get it changed that often. Some oil drain plugs are hard to reach, and in this case, you may want to have it done professionally. If you are changing it yourself, make sure to use an oil pan and then dispose of the oil properly.
5. Changing Brake Pads
Brakes are one of the most critical parts of your car, especially if you need to stop in a hurry. You need to pay attention to how your brakes are working and pay attention to any changes. Experts recommend changing them every 20,000 miles; Those who live in the city or travel too frequently may want to consider changing them more often.
6. Changing a Battery & Jumpstarting a Car
Most insurance companies offer roadside assistance, and if they don’t, it’s time for you to compare insurance companies to find one that does. Although it’s essential to know how to do this yourself, there may be times when you cannot depend on the situation.
Both changing and jumping a car are pretty straightforward. The hardest part of changing the battery is the weight of the battery and removing the connections. The connections can get dirty, making them hard to remove. This is why keeping them clean is essential. Jumpstarting your battery, you simply connect the colors. Red to Red and Black to Black, then turn on the car that is providing the juice and let it run for a minute or so, then turn on the vehicle that has the dead battery. Once it’s started, it’s a good idea to have your battery checked to find out if it needs to be replaced or if it went dead because something was left on by mistake.
Not only can these simple tips prolong the life of your vehicle, but they can also save you money. If you need to learn how to do them, there are many online videos that you can watch. Thank goodness for the age of technology. You can also ask a friend or family member to teach you as well.