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Basic Car Knowledge: 5 Maintenance Tips Everyone Should Know

To keep your car running as long as possible, you should brush up on basic car knowledge. Here are some maintenance tips everyone should know.

You don’t have to be a mechanic to know the fundamentals of taking care of your vehicle. Any vehicle, new or old, has a few pieces of maintenance that need to be handled regularly.

Sure, older cars require a little bit more care, but any owner should know how to take care of a few essential things themselves. Don’t get too worried if some of the things listed below are new to you.

Most individuals rely on their mechanic for most repairs. That said, you could save yourself a lot of time and money if you can take care of the following issues yourself with a little basic car knowledge.

Important Pieces Of Basic Car Knowledge

We’ll discuss five important ideas in this article, giving you some fundamental insight into how to maintain your car. At the very least, you’ll know what to look out for after reading this article and you can bring your car to a professional a little sooner.

It’s important to note that you should do extra research for truck maintenance because trucks come with different focus points.

1- Basic Inspections

This one is vague, but it’s arguably the most important thing you can do.

To give your car basic inspections on your own, you should keep and maintain the owner’s manual. Any owner’s manual will let you know how often and how to perform routine inspections.

This will simply ensure that your vehicle isn’t going to experience any major issues or whether or not it needs to be taken into a professional garage. After a few personal inspections, you’ll get the hang of things and know what to do.

At the very least, checking in on your car will allow you to note if anything looks wrong. It isn’t always the case that problems in your vehicle make sounds or vibrations, so it’s important to look closely at your vehicle regularly.

2- Maintain Tire Pressure

Keeping a healthy tire pressure offers a whole lot of benefits.

Most importantly, good tire pressure improves safety a great deal. A lot of accidents and difficulties on the road are caused by low or high tire pressure. Additionally, your gas mileage is greatly improved when your tire pressure is in the ideal range.

So, there’s no good reason not to have the right tire pressure, especially since it’s so easy to check and maintain.

Your owner’s manual should cite the ideal amount of tire pressure you need. You should also be able to find that number on a sticker near the bottom of your driver’s seat or on the inside of your driver’s door.

A small tire pressure gauge costs little to nothing and can give you an accurate read of your pressure. If you find that it’s low, simply go to the nearest gas station and add air until it’s ready. Many pumps are programmed to beep when you reach a pre-established pressure, making the process very easy.

3- Checking Your Oil

Checking the oil is an essential responsibility for any car owner. Sure, you get a sticker with the number of miles until your next checkup, but that number isn’t always accurate.

Sometimes, your car malfunctions in such a way that makes your oil leak out and leaves your car vulnerable to breakdowns. It’s wise to check your oil every other time you get gas.

That way, if anything happens without you knowing, you’ll be able to identify the problem and bring your car in. Checking your oil simply requires that you pull the dipstick out, wipe it off, insert it back in all of the ways, and pull it out.

When you pull it out, examine it to see if the oil lands near the pre-marked spot on the dipstick. If you find that your oil has dropped significantly, it may be time to simply add some more or get an oil change.

4- Check Coolant Levels

A lot of people get the idea of window fluid and coolant mixed up. Similarly, the dashboard indicators that alert you get mixed up as well.

Make sure you can recognize the “low coolant” dashboard light and know how to remedy the problem. A healthy amount of oil should protect against excessive engine heat, but there’s bound to be heat generated in your car and there has to be a system to reduce that heat.

That’s where coolant comes in. If you’re out of coolant and your engine gets too hot, you’ll be vulnerable to overheating and a blown engine. That repair is going to be very costly if your car isn’t entirely totaled.

So, the cost of swinging by the store and buying some coolant is far more reasonable than replacing important components of your engine.

5- Replace Your Windshield Wipers

This is another basic piece of maintenance that is very important. Depending on the climate you live in, you may not experience a lot of rain or snow. That makes it seem like a busted windshield wiper isn’t a huge deal.

That said, you never know when you’ll be hit with unexpected storms or harsh weather and need to improve your visibility. If your wipers are out, you could find yourself in extremely dangerous situations.

So, you must know how to change them and take care of them as soon as they go out. Your owner’s manual should have basic instructions on how to swap out your old wipers with new ones. At the same time, the way that wipers are hooked is typically pretty simple.

You may only need a wrench or screwdriver to properly install a new set of windshield wipers. You may even want to swap your wipers out as soon as they start making that terrible “squeaking” sound because that’s an indication that they’re on their last leg.

Need More Maintenance Help?

Hopefully, these pieces of basic car knowledge will be helpful to you when issues arise. It’s important to be prepared, though, so check around to see if your particular vehicle has any common issues for you to be prepared for.

If you need more insight, though, explore our site for the knowledge you need to stay safe on the road.

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