Picture this: you’re going on a long drive, excited to leave the hustle and bustle of city life behind for a relaxing day, trekking in the mountains. But suddenly, en route, you have a flat tyre. What do you do? Do you go about changing the tyre yourself or do you call for help? It is a sad fact that most of us women lack the knowledge and skills necessary to do basic car maintenance and repairs. Knowing the basics could help you save hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars over the years in maintenance costs.
Basic Car Maintenance Tips
You don’t have to rely on your mechanic for every little thing. While it’s smart to trust the professionals for repairs and other more complex car maintenance tasks, there are some very basic maintenance jobs that you can handle yourself.
1. Learn to Check Air Pressure & Change A Tyre
One of the most basic car maintenance tips is to check tyre pressure, ensuring it’s at its optimal at all times. It only takes a few minutes and is very easy to do. The ideal air pressure for your tyres can be found in the owner’s manual. Keeping your tyres filled to the correct pressure will provide you with a smoother ride and even offer you better fuel efficiency. The second thing you need to learn is to change a tyre. Sure, you can call 24/7 emergency car service to help you with a flat, but what if your phone’s dead and you find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere? Changing a tyre is a basic life skill that every person should know. You can ask your mechanic or a friend to show you how to change a tyre.
2. Check the Engine Oil and Filter
Think of the air filter as the lung and the engine oil as the lifeblood of your car. They’re both crucial for the uninterrupted performance of your vehicle. Regularly checking both the engine filter and the oil is important. Refer your car’s user manual to find out how to check and replace the filter and oil when needed.
3. Refill Windshield Wiper Fluid & Clean Wiper Blades
This another easy maintenance tip. For the wipers to work properly, you need to make sure the wiper blades are clean, and the wiper fluid refilled as needed. The last thing you need is to be stuck in a storm, switch on your wiper, only to find that it’s not working as it should.
4. Learn to Jump Start Your Car
Learning to jump start a car is another one of those essential skills that you need to learn. You never know when it’ll come in handy. It’s better to be prepared for any eventuality than to be caught unaware and unprepared in a roadside emergency situation. Again, you can ask a car professional, friend or family member to show you how it’s done. Worst case scenario is you’ll have to call a towing company if you breakdown, but hopefully you can avoid that.
5. Get into The Practice of Preventive Maintenance
The age-old adage ‘Prevention is better than cure’, has a lot of wisdom to it. Instead of fixing what goes wrong, a better way to take care of your car is to take it in regularly for preventive maintenance. The idea is to resolve a problem even before it rears its ugly head and becomes a big issue. Doing so can keep car repair costs to a minimum, as you will only be spending on keeping things working well, as opposed to spending money to fix problems caused due to negligence.
A car should be a trustable companion that you can rely on to take you from point to point. The day your car stops being so trustworthy and spends more time at the mechanics than on road, it’s time to consider selling the car for cash. Give your car the TLC it needs and it will reward you with improved fuel efficiency, reduced maintenance costs and far fewer repairs over its life span.