After buying a new car, all you want to do is hit the road with your friends! We get it, driving a new car is a great and freeing experience, unfortunately, though, it’s inevitable that you’ll run into mechanical issues at some point. As the vehicle’s owner, getting those problems fixed is your responsibility. Moreover, you will have to regularly be aware of basic maintenance to ensure that your new car lasts for a long haul. In order to do that, you should know a few basic things about your vehicle.
Here’s the lowdown on those essential things to help you keep your car in good shape:
Brakes are an important safety feature that nobody can afford to overlook. Faulty brake systems are one of the leading causes for accidents because it gives you less control over your vehicle. This is why you should keep your brakes maintained. Make sure to observe your steering wheel closely while you are driving. Does it shake when you step on the brake? If yes, then it typically means that there is a problem with your brakes.
2. Engine Oil
Engine oil is essential for keeping the engine of your vehicle clean, cool and lubricated. A lack of adequate engine oil can create friction and heating in the bearings, rings, cylinder walls, and other critical components. The performance of your vehicle will thus suffer if there isn’t enough engine oil. Be aware of how often you need to change your engine oil, typically every six months is good but it can vary between vehicles. Changing your oil can cost you between $25-$150, depending upon your vehicle and amounts of quarts needed.
3. Vehicle Fluids
Vehicle fluids should be checked regularly by all car owners. It is something that can be done easily. The important fluids that you should check include coolant, windshield washer fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid.
4. Spare Tire
Your spare tire will come in handy if you ever experience a flat tire. Make sure to check that the spare tire and the jack are in your car at all times so that you don’t run into trouble when you have to change your tire. Spare tires are usually inside the trunk, but may also be located somewhere else depending on the car.
5. Windshield Wiper Blades
Driving in the rain with faulty wipes makes it extremely difficult to navigate the road ahead of you in heavy rainfall. Make sure to keep track of when your blades start to wear down so you can replace them before you get caught in the rain. Getting you wipers replaces is typically between $12-$16, depending on the length and type of wipers.
6. Tire Pressure
Tire pressure is another important thing you should consider in vehicle maintenance. If your tire pressure is low, your tires will ware out faster and need to be replaced. On the other hand, if the pressure is too high, it’ll cause less traction making it harder for you to stop your vehicle. This is why it essential to use the recommended pressure for your car. To prevent accidents and spending money replacing worn tires, keep track of your tire pressure.
7. Taillights and Headlights
Taillights and headlights go dimmer over time so always check them before going on a drive. If they aren’t working properly, other drivers might not be able to see your vehicle at night and could end up crashing into you. If you notice any dimming at all, don’t hesitate to go get them replaced.
8. Engine Air Filters
Your engine air filter should be checked every six months. When it gets dirty and clogged, your engine will have to work harder, causing a surge in your fuel expenses.
If you start experiencing more bumps while driving or hear rattling when your vehicle goes over slopes, it means that your shocks are worn out. You will have to get them replaced to enjoy a smooth and comfortable ride. Replacing your shocks will also prevent harsh wear and tear to various parts of your vehicle.
10. Emergency Kit
Even if you keep your car well-maintained, it can still break down at any time. Therefore, you should keep an emergency kit in your car at all times. The kit should include tire gauge, jumper cables, flashlight, duct tape, tow rope, glass wipe, and gloves.