Owning a vehicle is so exciting and, not surprisingly, there are a few basic things every car owner should know. The first days are just so thrilling when the car is still new. Wait until you run into mechanical issues and you will know that maintaining a car and owning one are two very different things. In fact, buying a car is cheaper than maintaining one when you do not arm yourself with knowledge on how to maintaining it.
Read through these 10 basic things that every car owner should know. It will save you lots of cash, time and give you peace of mind.
1. Regular Car Maintenance
For a first-time car owner, you are clueless and car maintenance may seem an expensive affair and it’s easy to just ignore because you think your car is still new. But someone who understands vehicles knows that regular car maintenance is critical, it is expensive but all worth it. Your vehicle comes with a manual that tells you what regular services your car needs.
2. Shocks and Struts
If you halt your car and you feel your car rocking back and forth or some rattling when going over the bumps then your shocks and struts have seen better days. This is very common with older cars. It is easy to ignore these signs because they happen over time.
3. Emergency Kit and Roadside Kit
Cars have a tendency of breaking down when you least expect it. Almost every car owner can relate to this. It is important that you always have an emergency kit with you and that includes roadside kits as well. Always ensure that you have a First aid kit, fire extinguisher, at least three reflective warning triangles, jumper cables, flashlight, foam tire sealant, tire gauge, tow rope, duct tape, and a blanket.
You have to really monitor your brakes. They are a safety concern. If you feel your steering shaking when you step on the brakes, get them checked because it may affect your car’s stability as well as the anti-braking system.
5. Headlights and Taillights
These two lights get dimmer with time so it’s important that you monitor them. In fact, it’s recommended that you change your headlights every year.
6. Spare Tire
A spare tire is one of those things you know you must have even if you know nothing else about cars. A spare tire should be accompanied by tire changing tools. Don’t forget that lest you get stranded in the middle of nowhere. Make sure that you know how to change a tire as well. Always asking strangers may not be a safe practice.
7. Vehicle Fluids
To keep your car running smoothly, you have to regularly check your car fluids. The most important being the engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and windshield washer fluid.
8. Car Tire Pressure
Monitoring your car tire pressure is one of the most important safety measures. It shouldn’t be too low, neither too high. When pressure is too low, it will cause friction between the tire and the ground which will make the tire wear out very quickly. On the other hand, when it is too high, it will cause less traction.
9. Flashing Check Engine Light
You should immediately get your car checked if you notice the engine light flashing. That is an indication that something is seriously wrong with your car and you should not drive it. It means that there is some sort of misfire and it can lead to catalytic converter damage or a loose gas cap.
10. Good Mechanic
Besides everything else that you will need to know as a car owner, getting yourself a good mechanic will save you lots of stress. Knowing that you have someone very knowledgeable and reliable is important. Someone whom you can get hold of easily and will respond almost immediately.
Your car is going to be probably the second most expensive investment after your home. Therefore it deserves nothing but the best care and accessories such as the best car covers and mats, superior vehicle fluids and cleaning detergents if you self-clean. You should also invest in the best car covers to protect your car when it is not in use.