With the amount of money we spend on payments, maintenance, and repairs for our cars, you’d think we’d have a better relationship with our vehicles. But understanding our cars- how they work, how to care for them, the costs of repair- can be overwhelming.
All the parts, fluids, directions to follow, and things that can go wrong make cars and repair garages seem intimidating, but they don’t have to be. You don’t need to know everything about your car, but you do need to master some basics. Here are five things you should know to help you feel more confident as a car owner before you get behind the wheel.
1. Year, make, and model
The first thing you need to know about your car is the year it was made, the make of the car, and the specific model. This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t know this information. Often they get the year or model wrong, which can lead to big mistakes.
The fluids, parts, and accessories to repair and maintain your car are all based on the car’s year, make, and model, so knowing the correct information is essential. The design, construction, and models of cars can change dramatically in a year, and the parts needed for your car will also.
Your vehicle identification number (VIN) is the fingerprint of your car. It is a 17-digit number that identifies your car’s date of manufacture, location, make, model, engine size, etc. The VIN accompanies the car throughout its life. You need to know where to find this number, but you don’t need to memorize it.
The easiest way to find it is to stand outside the vehicle on the driver’s side and look at the corner of the dashboard where it meets the windshield. Your VIN is useful when talking to mechanics and insurance companies. You can use your VIN to look up information if you want to buy a car or buy parts.
3. Maintenance Schedule
Your best bet for keeping your car in good shape is to follow your car’s specific maintenance schedule. Your schedule will tell you things like when to change your oil (it’s no longer 3,000 miles or every three months), when to check your fluids and when to rotate your tires.
Every car has its own maintenance schedule that must be followed to keep your car performing at its best, healthy, and long-lasting. Your maintenance schedule can be found in your owner’s manual or in the separate booklet that comes with your owner’s manual. Read it and strictly follow the recommendations for checking and replacing those parts or fluids in your car.
4. Tire Pressure
Proper tire pressure is probably the most overlooked maintenance issue on our cars. When this light appears on the dashboard, we often wait to fill the gas tank. Then that time comes, and we don’t have a chance for air or just don’t feel like doing it. Truth be told, I hate putting air in my tires like I hate pumping gas, but ignoring this light only puts us at greater risk of a flat or explosion, picking up a nail in the tire, or wearing out our tires faster.
Tires are expensive, but some can last more than 50,000 kilometers if you take good care of them. On the other hand, make sure you never overfill your tires! Stop this bad habit now because it can shorten the life of our tires and force us to buy them more frequently.
Looking for help?
Do you have to get your car checked up or need servicing? Are you looking for a professional mechanic? Then, look no further than Complete Mechanical Centre. They are the premier car mechanic in Australia, and this is backed up by their over 3 decades of experience in this industry.
Their reputation is still growing, and this is because of their unrivaled mechanical servicing abilities. They also have a team of fully qualified and licensed mechanics that will take care of all your automotive needs, no matter the model of your vehicle. So, what are you waiting for? Give them a call today, book your next appointment with them, and give your car the TLC it deserves.