You’d figure that with the amount of money we expend on car insurance, upkeep, and repairs, we’d have a great relationship with them. However, comprehending our automobiles—how they perform, how to maintain them, and maintenance costs—can be challenging. Cars and repair shops can seem overwhelming due to all of the components, fluids, instructions to obey, and stuff that can go wrong, however they don’t have to be.
You don’t need to know anything about your car, but you do understand the fundamentals. Here are five things you should know before getting behind the wheel to make you feel more secure as a driver:
1. Year, make and model
The year your car was built, the make, and the basic model are the first things you should know about it. This may seem obvious, but you’d be shocked by how many people are unaware of this information. They sometimes make mistakes with the year or model, which may result in major errors. Fluids, components, and accessories for repairing and maintaining the vehicle are all dependent on the car’s year, make, and model, so knowing this knowledge is crucial. Car design, production, and models will change dramatically over the course of a year, and the components needed for your vehicle would as well.
Your car’s fingerprint is its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). It’s a 17-digit number that specifies your car’s production date, place, make, model, and engine size, among other things. The VIN is attached to the vehicle for the sake of its existence. You must know where to look for this number, but it is not necessary to memorise it. Standing outside the car on the driver’s side and looking at the corner of the bumper where it crosses the windshield is the best way to find it. When dealing with mechanics and insurance agencies, the VIN comes in handy. If you want to buy a car or buy parts for it, you can use your VIN to look up stuff.
3. Maintenance schedule
Sticking to your car’s detailed maintenance plan is your best chance at keeping it running smoothly. When it’s time to change your oil (it’s no longer every 3,000 miles or every three months), check your oils, and rotate your tyres, your calendar will tell you. Each vehicle has its own maintenance plan that should be followed to ensure that it performs at its best, is healthy, and lasts as long as possible. Your repair plan can be found in your owner’s manual or in a special guide that comes with it. Read it to make sure you inspect and replace certain components or fluids in your car according to the instructions.
4. Tire pressure
Tire friction is perhaps the most overlooked aspect of car servicing. We always ignore the light on the dashboard before we need to top up the gas tank. And there’s the moment when we don’t have any change for air or really don’t want to do it. To be honest, I despise putting air in my tyres as much as I despise pumping petrol, but missing this light just increases our chances of getting a flat or blowing out, picking up a nail in the wheel, or wearing out our tyres sooner. From doing this now, as it would shorten the life of our tyres and push us to replace them more often. Tires are costly, but if well maintained, they will last for over 50,000 miles. On the other hand, never over-inflate the tyres!
5. Engine light
Although we may be anxious when the dashboard lights turn on, they are a glimpse into the wellbeing of our vehicle. When a dashboard light came on, I was still worried about what the mechanic would think was the problem. Since dashboard lights differ by brand, your owner’s manual may tell you what they mean, but it does not express how important or meaningless those lights are. Dashboard lights are divided into three groups by me:
• Red: Get assistance right away! This are often associated with passenger welfare.
• Yellow: Take a look at this as soon as possible!
• Go or activated: green or blue!
Understanding these key pieces of knowledge is the first step toward becoming in charge of your vehicle, speaking confidently with a mechanic, and making smarter maintenance decisions. Now go get your repair manual and make sure you’re up to date!