Many people can’t wait to pass their driving test and experience the freedom of driving their own car. However, how many people know more than just the basics about the vehicle they are driving? Would you know what to do if you got a flat tire? Would you be able to tell if an unscrupulous mechanic is trying to get you to pay for services you don’t need? If you don’t even know the basics about car maintenance and cars in general, enjoy reading five things you should know about your car.
How to change a tire
Being stranded, waiting to be rescued all because of a flat tire is nobody’s idea of fun, so learn how to do it yourself. Make sure you know precisely where to locate your tool kit and jack, and how you are meant to use them. Do a practice run so you are ready in the event of the real thing.
How to check tire pressure
Too much, or too little air in your tires and cause accidents, so purchase a pressure gauge to assess the amount of air in your tires. There should be a guide in your car manual or on a sticker on the car interior for the correct pressures for the tires on your car.
How to check oil
First, make sure you are parked on level ground so the reading is accurate. Locate the dipstick, then remove it from its sheath before wiping off any excess oil onto a rag. Replace the dipstick into the sheath, then remove again to read the level. A dipstick usually has grooves indicating the minimum and maximum level of oil that should be in the container. Ensure your reading is at a position between these two notches.
Know the jargon
Some mechanics will try to blind you with science, but if you know a little about terms used by mechanics, you can show them that you won’t be fooled. For example, What Does OEM Parts Mean? No idea? To find out the answer to this and much more car related terminology, visit Tuning Guru.
How to get unstuck
Whether it’s mud or snow, if you’re stuck in it, you want to get out. Many people make the mistake of putting their foot down in the hope that the car will speed off out of the ditch. However, this tends to make the problem worse, digging your tires deeper into the obstacle. Instead, place a rubber mat, or something else that can aid traction, such as grit or kitty litter, then try to slowly move off. When stuck in snow, drive forwards and backwards slowly to create a space which should assist with momentum and traction.
It is hoped this short guide will pique your interest in learning more about your vehicle. Being prepared and knowledgeable will help to avoid unnecessary situations, and may even help to get you out of a tight spot in the future.