A new car will probably be one of the biggest purchases of your life.
And if you haven't had a lot of experience, learning car care basics might seem a bit tough. But in reality, as long as you remember a few key steps, you can keep your car looking and running well. If you've purchased a used car, these steps are likely even more important. Without a full warranty and after someone else has been driving it, your car needs care. And as its owner, you'll be the one to make most of those maintenance decisions. So take a close look at our tips below and make sure to discuss major issues with a trusted mechanic. With a little bit of care and consideration, you can keep your wheels moving for years to come.
Car Care Basics Every Owner Should Know
Some car owners might find the thought of keeping up their new purchase to be a bit overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be. In fact, you're probably afraid of things you really don't need to worry about.
Many of the car care basics we'll discuss can be done in a matter of minutes. And once you get a handle on the tools of the trade, it will soon become old hat. We'll also discuss some steps you can take to automate the process or get some expert advice. Whether it's regularly scheduled maintenance or an issue that will require a pro, you can be in charge. So whether you're behind the wheel or in the garage, make sure you have a handle on your auto.
Remembering the following philosophies has helped countless car owners keep their investments safe. Safety and reliability are two vital qualities in any car. Maximize both by employing the steps we've listed below.
1. Meet Your Mechanic Match
This is an important step because there are probably many parts of your car you'll need help maintaining. Unless you've been trained to address the technical aspects of your car, you'll need a good mechanic. We'll be covering the car care basics. But for more complex systems, take it to the pros.
You'll want an expert, but you don't necessarily need a master of all things automotive. We recommend finding someone reliable and trustworthy before anything else. So he or she might end up referring you to another shop or expert. Because true pros know when to pass on a project. In the case that you need a referral, you'll be happy you went with a competent mechanic. You could always choose to keep servicing your car at the dealership. Some love this idea while other motorists say they get better service and price elsewhere.
If you're in a new area or just don't have a reliable mechanic, there are a few great ways to find one. You can tell a lot by checking out a particular shop. If it is ASE certified, that's definitely a good sign. Then you can check with the AAA to see which garages it's affiliated with in the community. And with almost anything in the marketplace, there's plenty of reviews available online. But you might just want to go with the recommendations of your trusted friends and family.
2. Learn To Tackle The Basics
Of course you don't have to rely on mechanics for every little thing. The more car care basics you can cover on your own, the better off you'll be. Not only will you save time and money, you'll probably feel the reward of a job well done. To be on the safe side, we also recommend looking into an automotive club. Of course, the AAA leads the pack, but your mileage might vary.
There are plenty of small things you can do on your own vehicle with just a little practice. Perhaps the most vital skill to learn is how to change a tire. There are actually a lot of drivers on the road without this integral skills. The good thing about this is that it's easy to give your car a dry run. If you don't have the skills, make sure to have someone around to guide you. And another tire related tip involves keeping the right amount of air pressure in your tires.
But there are other things you can learn to do on your own when you buy a car. Learning to change filters and fluids is a great place to start. And when things get worn out, it's important to maintain safety and replace them. Items like your windshield wiper blades are pretty easy to install. Plus, putting new ones on will give you a fresh outlook on the road when the next rainstorm approaches.
3. Pay Attention To Recommended Services
You probably know about some of your car's recommended service intervals. Whether it is changing the oil ever 3,000 miles or when to check spark plugs, your car comes with suggestions. Many can be found in your vehicle's owner manual.
This important book will include lots of valuable information about specific car care basics. Some you might be able to tackle on your own. Others, of course, you'll want to run by your mechanic. But either way, it will be up to you to remember to service the car. You'll probably get some expert advice along the way. That is why you should make sure you choose an expert you trust. And if you are aware of these issues, you'll be more informed. Not every bit of maintenance is necessary, And too much work under the hood could cause unanticipated damage.
So make sure you're doing what your car's manufacturer recommends. Then take other advice as it comes. But make sure you can add your own knowledge to the conversation. And if you feel confident, take on as many of these chores as you can from your own garage.
4. Keep Up Appearances
Sure, cleaning your car is important for status reasons. Minor body damage, dirt and chipped paint can certainly be eyesores. So if you really take pride in your auto, you'll want to keep it in tip top visual shape.
You might think this isn't as important as making sure your car is mechanically sound. And you'd probably have a good point there. But you will likely disregard exterior upkeep at your peril. It might be one of the most obvious of car care basics. But keeping your car clean and presentable also has some less apparent benefits.
Properly applying wax, for example, can leave your car with a lustrous shine for years. We recommend doing your homework before taking on this task, though. You can choose from paste or a liquid polish, but once you start be sure to keep it up. An application will last for a few weeks and protect your paint's finish from a host of irritants.
Learning a few car care basics can mean the difference between a smooth ride and a rocky road.
So before you take off in your new set of wheels, pay attention to the details. Not only will it save you cash and wear in the long term, it just might save your life.
We hope our advice has helped clear up some of the car care basics you need to remember. If so, share this tutorial with the motorists in your life. And leave us a comment below if you have any final thoughts or questions.
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