We all like our cars nice and shiny on the surface, but what about the fine inner workings that make or break it? Car maintenance can seem intimidating, but it is not exactly rocket science. It is time to look beyond prejudices and stereotypes: There is no reason for car maintenance to be a predominantly male domain. Problems like flat tires do happen, so brace yourself ahead of time. If you do not know anything about this, well, now is the time to learn.
1. Reviving the battery
Sooner or later, car batteries decide to die on us. Do not fret if that happens. Check the manual for the location of the battery in your vehicle. You will need another car parked and facing your own. Turn off everything and attach the red clamps of the jumper cable to the positive terminal on your battery and to the one on the car with a working battery. Next, connect the black clamps to the negative terminal of the good battery and to a piece of grounded metal on your car, not the battery itself. Start the car with the working battery, wait a few minutes for your battery to recharge and then try starting your car.
2. Checking and replacing the tires
Knowing how to replace a flat tire can save you a lot of headaches and frustration. It is not such a complicated task, especially if you have someone to run you through it. All you need is a spare tire, iron, and tire jack. Another key task related to tires is checking the pressure. Basically, you need to always carry a pressure gauge. Follow the guidelines of the tire manufacturer to figure out whether they are under or over-inflated. Also, keep an eye on wear and tear damage on the tires.
3. Managing the fluids
Monitoring and refilling the fluids are essential tasks you have to take on. So, if the light pops up indicating your car needs more, react promptly. To refill the windshield wiper fluid, for instance, you need to open the hood and look for the washer sign. Furthermore, oil changes are quite inexpensive these days, but it is still a good idea to know how to check the levels and refill. Of course, you should always have a quality product like Castrol oil in your car and be ready to refill every 3000 to 5000 miles.
4. Let there always be light
Unfortunately, broken headlights and tail lights are not an uncommon sight and they occur in the wake of clumsy parking or some other incident. Sometimes, the lights even break down simply due to their age. On a brighter note, fixing this issue is easy and requires no muscles. In a nutshell, you have to pull back the lining of the car to reach the headlight panel. Replace the old light with a spare bulb and illuminate the path ahead once more.
5. Pay attention to the dashboard
The dashboard speaks volumes about your car, so keep a close eye on it to make your life easier. Most importantly, note that the signs are color-coded. Green and blue lights signal that features such as cruise control are running. When you see yellow, it indicates you need to check on a certain issue. At last, a red light is a cause for concern because it suggests that there is a problem that makes your car unsafe for driving. In general, these serious issues are related to the charging system, coolant, brakes, oil pressure, etc.
6. Hold the reigns
Do not be asleep at the wheel: Take things into your own hands and assume control over your car’s maintenance. Make sure your vehicle is in top shape and functioning properly when you most need it. Inspect the tires regularly and face any malfunctions head-on. Remember that you can always check the owner’s manual or tutorials for guidance. Of course, do not hesitate to call the mechanic if the problem is too much for you to handle.