Regardless of whether you’re a full-time family person or a busy working professional, having your own car can make things a lot easier. With thousands of public transport users, you can come across, going from one plan to another is a real hassle. You have to worry about running late on your meetings, have delays on your errands, and even worry about your security and comfort when traveling.
With that in mind, buying a car may not be an investment, but it can provide you with a safer means of transport. But while owning a car comes with tons of perks, you’d also need to do some work to keep it in tip-top condition. If you’re a first-time owner who doesn’t know much about driving and car maintenance, these tips will be useful for you:
1. Regularly visit an auto shop
To know when you should schedule your car’s maintenance services, you can check the owner’s manual. The services usually involve inspecting and replacing things such as fluids, wires, and spark plugs. Only visit reputable and equipped auto shops to guarantee quality and quick service. For instance, having mobile column vehicle lifts is a good sign that the auto repair shop operates efficiently. Plus, car lifts are essential for ensuring the safety of your vehicles being serviced on, as well as the mechanics.
Besides the experience of their mechanics and the gear, the auto shop should only use genuine parts, especially when replacements are necessary. This prevents unexpected problems with your car’s functionality or performance while driving. And lastly, consider the auto shop’s rates for their services. If you’re on a limited budget, shop around for affordable yet still reliable auto maintenance services.
2. Refer to the owner’s manual
The owner’s manual is not only useful for checking the recommended maintenance service schedule. It’s also a good reference for how to properly take care of your car. So, don’t throw away or misplace your vehicle’s manual. It contains helpful information and instructions specific to the type and model of your car, from using the infotainment system to changing the right gas and oil. You can also use it to learn more about certain features and requirements of your car.
Keep in mind though that most of the care tips in the owner’s manual are usually the basic ones. If your vehicle needs a deeper diagnosis, it’s safer to bring it to an auto repair shop or an experienced local mechanic.
3. Learn about oil change
Your vehicle cannot function smoothly without the proper lubricant. Surely, you don’t want to drive your car with poor functioning parts. The oil is responsible for absorbing the heat from the friction of your car’s moving parts, while the filter ensures the oil is free from contaminants. For changing the oil and the filter, you first need to find the oil drain plug. You’ll then need to get rid of the old oil and change the plug and filter. Afterward, lubricate the new oil filter before filling it up again.
Refer to your owner’s manual to know the proper type and amount of oil for your vehicle model. You can check for leaks by starting the engine. Use a dipstick to check if the oil level is appropriate. But then again, simple mistakes on oil change can mess up your entire machine. Possible problems may include under or overfilling, using the wrong oil, and not keeping track of mileage. These are the reasons hiring a car mechanic is also a smart idea.
4. Always drive with care
Last but not least, always drive with care. Your car is more likely to be susceptible to issues if it’s on the road for several hours every day. First off, don’t idle your car in the driveway with the engine on. There’s a possibility of oil contamination or incomplete fuel combustion if your engine isn’t running at its peak temperature.
During start-up, avoid racing your engine and accelerate it slowly in the first 10 minutes to prevent engine wear. Shifting to neutral while your car is stopped is also a smart way to put less strain on the vehicle’s engine. And most importantly, practice safe driving habits to avoid road accidents. Steer clear of distractions such as using your phones, talking to passengers, or eating.
From getting more tasks done to saving money when traveling, owning a car for the first time is an amazing investment. However, keep in mind that part of being a car owner is doing some basic maintenance work. These tips will not only prevent expensive car repairs but also guarantee smooth and safe driving.