Car Care for Noobs: Everything You Need to Know about Car Maintenance

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Owning a car, especially your first can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. You want to make sure that your car is always in tip-top shape. Not only for convenience’s sake but for your safety as well. You can ensure that your car is at its best performance by taking care of it at home and by bringing it to the auto mechanic regularly. Sounds easy! But, what exactly do you have to do?

Check your tire pressure

According to the NHTSA 2015 Crash Stats, about 15,000 of car crashes are caused by tire problems. Having the correct tire pressure helps avoid your tires from blowing out and keeps you from getting into accidents. That’s why checking your car’s tire pressure is something you have to do regularly. You can find the best tire pressure for your car in the user manual of your vehicle.

Next time you’re getting your car gassed up don’t forget to check how your tires are doing. If you notice that they’ve gone a little soft, visit the air pump. Most gas stations have one and it’s free!

Replace your oil as needed

Oil is basically a lubricant for your car. It ensures that your car’s engine doesn’t grind and create too much friction that can lead to engine dysfunction. It can also help avoid corrosion as well as improve your gas mileage. Oil is something that you have to replace regularly, most people would say that you should get your oil changed every 3,000 miles or 3 months. But you can always check your car’s user manual or check the oil levels yourself. How?

To check your car’s oil level you’ll need a rag. Make sure that your engine is warm and that you’re parked on level ground. Stop the engine and wait a few minutes for the oil to go back into its tank. Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean then stick it back into the tank. Pull it out again, you’ll see that the dipstick has two marks. If the oil reaches the top mark that means your oil is full, if it’s below the top mark only top up as needed.

Change air filter

People don’t think about changing their air filter regularly, mainly because a dirty air filter isn’t as big a hazard as people think. Leaving in a dirty air filter can actually cause a number of problems for your car. It can decrease your car’s power, it can cause engine failure, and it can reduce your fuel efficiency. Replacing a dirty air filter can ensure that your car is at its highest performance.

Get your brakes checked

Your brakes are one of the most important and most used parts of the car and it wears out. It should be a rule of thumb that if you start hearing any noises coming from your car you should get it checked. According to the NHTSA 2015 Crash Stats, about 10,000 of car crashes are caused by brake-related problems. Getting your brakes checked can literally save a life.

Check for busted lights

car headlight closeup

You get pulled over by the cops when you’ve got a busted light for a reason, cause it’s dangerous. So if you want to avoid getting pulled over by the cops, always remember to check your lights, especially if you’re driving at night. Make sure that you replace a busted light bulb as soon as possible.

Use Antifreeze when the weather is extreme

Antifreeze basically regulates your car’s temperature, it works best when the weather is getting extreme. During the winter, Antifreeze prevents the water in your car from freezing. In the summer, it prevents your car from overheating.

Clean your car!

The easiest thing you need to do. You have to clean your car regularly, inside and out. Not only will it make your car look brand new, but it also speaks of your character. The way you present your car says a lot about yourself. If your car is messy people will think you’re messy as well.

Washing your car also makes driving safer. Make sure to wash the outside of your car regularly. Pay extra attention to your windshield, windows, mirrors, and headlights. You don’t want dirt obstructing your vision or your ability to see on the road.

In the end, if you’re still clueless or too scared to do all of this yourself, you can always get the professionals to do it for you! But honestly, at least clean the inside of your car yourself.

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