While driver’s education may teach a person how to drive, they don’t always teach everything a person needs to know about their car. Part of this is because things differ from brand to brand and model to model. Here are ten different things that all drivers need to know how to do in order to keep their car running longer. These things can also help you avoid being stranded on the side of the road!
Know when your oil should be changed. While the rule of thumb used to be every three months or around 5,000 miles, that’s no longer true for all cars. Read your manual to know when your vehicle’s oil change is due.
Know where your car’s check engine light is and that when it comes on, it’s potentially serious. While it may not always mean you’re going to destroy your car if you continue to drive it, in many cases, it does indicate a major problem.
Know how to replace your windshield wiper blades. You should replace them every six months or so. You can find the correct type of windshield wipers in your owner’s manual.
Know how to check all the fluids in your car and what type of replacement fluids you need to purchase. This includes oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze, and windshield wiper fluid.
Know how to check your tire pressure and when you need to add or release air. Most gas stations have a free air station where you can adjust your air pressure.
Remember to check your headlights and taillights regularly and replace them about once a year. Headlights do get dimmer over time.
Don’t forget to put a roadside emergency kit in your car’s trunk so you have everything you need if your car breaks down and you can’t immediately find help.
Know everything about your car by reading the owner’s manual. All brands and models are a little different, so it’s important you know what your car needs and when it needs it. Doing so will keep your car running and help it last longer.
Remember to change your air filter every six months or as recommended in your car’s owner’s manual. This will help increase your fuel efficiency.
Find a good mechanic. Don’t always go with the cheapest or the shop closest to you. Ask your friends and relatives for suggestions or you can read online reviews. You don’t want to pick a mechanic at random—your car is an expensive investment, and you want to be sure it’s in the right hands. We respectfully suggest Elite Auto Repair for all your car care needs. 🙂
If you know these ten different things, you’ll be able to keep your vehicle running for years. Keeping your car in good order will also help you get better gas mileage, so you’ll save a little bit of money too. Don’t know how to do some of these tasks? Give us a call, we’re happy to help you any way we can!
Let’s talk cabin air filters. There seems to be some confusion about them, and I’m going to clear that up right here today. I think much of the confusion comes because prior to the 2000 model year, very few vehicles had cabin air filters. I believe people tend to confuse their cabin air filter with the engine air filter, and I can certainly see how that can happen. Every vehicle has an engine air filter that cleans the air going into the engine, but not all have a cabin air filter that cleans the air going into the passenger compartment. It’s easy to get them mixed up.
You know that long belt that snakes around the front of your engine? It’s called the serpentine belt. The belt is driven by the engine as it turns. It powers your alternator, air conditioning compressor and power steering pump. On some vehicles it also runs the water pump, radiator fan and power brakes. It sounds like a lot of important stuff, doesn’t it? If your serpentine belt were to break, your battery would die in a few miles.