Basic Car Maintenance That You Need To Know
You don’t need to be a mechanic to do a few simple things with your car. All drivers should know how to do these few processes in case of an emergency. One of the worst things in the world is being stranded on the side of the road with no way to get home. Protect yourself from the unknown, and have a few car tricks up your sleeve. Plus, some are just good maintenance.
- Changing Your Tire: It’s inevitable. During the time that you drive, you will experience at least one flat tire. Most are slow leaks that can be driven for a few minutes to safety. Others require immediate attention by putting on a spare tire. Each vehicle has a donut spare tire tucked away under the trunk compartment. The first task is figuring out how to access the tire. Second, there should be a tire iron and a jack with the spare. Raise the car up with the jack, and loosen the bolts on the flat tire. Slide the tire off the axel, and secure the spare on with the bolts. You have about 50 miles to go before replacing that donut tire. Replace it with a real tire sooner than later.
- Checking Tire Pressure/Filling Tires With Air: As the weather changes, so does the air pressure in your tires. Pull out your pressure gauge and test your pressure once a quarter with each new season. The required pressure weights are listed on the side of the metal frame of the driver door. Push your gauge into the uncapped valve for 1-2 seconds. Make sure that the pressure matches the suggested weight.
- Adding Coolant: Your car needs coolant at all times of the year to run properly. You don’t want the engine to get too hot to function. There’s a large plastic container for your coolant. You should see a colored liquid that hits a fill line if it’s high enough. To add more, wait until the car is cool, screw off the cap, and add coolant until it’s at the fill line. Do not overfill! Do NOT open the cap if the car recently ran. You run the risk of having that boiling fluid splash on you.
- Jump Starting A Car: If you’ve ever accidentally left an interior light on for hours, you’ll be familiar with the sad sound of your car trying to crank. It’s one of the worst moments realizing that you have a dead battery. Most batteries can generate enough juice to last a little longer if they get a jump start from another vehicle. You have jumper cables, find the battery, attach the red to the red knob, and the black to the black knob. You then turn the car on, and let the battery charge up for a few minutes. Then drive over to have your battery changed.
Once you are safe, take your vehicle to a shop to have experts look it over. Be familiar with your car and understand how it operates. Know how to pop the hood, keep oil, coolant, and an air pressure gauge with you at all times. Be ready for anything that life can throw your way.