Owning a car, or driving one, entails the need for the owner, or the driver to know about certain things that are essential for their safety and security, as well as for the durability of their car. Thereby, if you are a car owner or someone who frequently drives, it is important for you to get yourself familiar, not only with the basics but also more about cars.
There are already several sources of information to be able to guide you in doing so. In fact, the experts behind ShedHeads provide reviews on some of the basics, including the tools used in maintaining your car or parts for an upgrade that you may have been considering for a while now. You would be surprised to know that most auto-related problems can be done at your own home, as long as you have the right tools and guidance for the job.
Nevertheless, below are some of the things you need to learn more about automotive and vehicles, especially if you own one, or if you drive one.
1. Air filter
You need to periodically change the air filters of your cars, ideally every six months. This is because when the engine of your car gets dirty, there is a great possibility for your filters to get clogged, making your engine exert excess power and work harder. This may lead to additional fuel consumption, which results in more fuel expenses.
Everyone knows how important brakes are, and every car owner should practice checking their brake system religiously. This includes observing closely whether your steering wheel is shaking while you are stepping on the brake pedals because this scenario might affect your car’s ABS or anti-lock braking system.
3. Car engine oil
Your car engine oil is not meant to burn fuel, but rather, it is needed to lubricate, cool, and clean your engine. Without sufficient oil, your vehicle may experience thermal degradation, oxidation, as well as compressive heating. All these can cause unnecessary heat and friction in your engine, which again may lead to more fuel consumption or even engine failure.
4. Car maintenance
As a car owner and driver, you should never overlook the scheduled maintenance of your car. While it can prove to be expensive, it will guarantee your safety and security while you are on the road. Thus, put it in your planner and as much as possible, follow the car maintenance schedule of your vehicle based on the service interval specified in the manual. This mostly includes tune-ups and wheel alignment checks.
5. Headlights and taillights
Like the other parts of your vehicle, the headlights and taillights of your car are also prone to wear and tear. Thereby, it is important to check your car’s lights because this is more of a safety measure, rather than a preventive measure. A good rule of thumb is to have your headlights and taillights replaced once every year.
6. Shocks and struts
You may notice that your car may be rocking back and forth from time to time, or even hear rattling when you go over road bumps. It is during this time that you need to check your car’s shocks and struts because there is a great possibility that they are already worn out if you are already experiencing this scenario.
If you know how to change tires, then you have a great advantage over other drivers who don’t have an idea of how to do so. Thereby, take time to familiarize yourself with the entire process of changing your vehicle’s tires, as well as the tools you need in order to do so. It is also important to know the specific kind of tire that your vehicle needs in case you already use up your spare tire. Keep in mind that you need the best tires that are proven to be durable and reliable coming from some of the most renowned tire manufacturers around the globe. It is also a great practice to check whether your spare tire is properly inflated to ensure that you will have something to use when you need it the most.
8. Tire pressure
Having accurate tire pressure for your car is very important as it plays a huge role in the safety you need while you are on the road. When the pressure of your tire is low, a great portion of your tire touches the ground surface, causing more friction. As a result, your tires will wear out faster and this may also lead to tread separation. On the other hand, when the pressure of your tire is high, only a smaller portion of it touches the ground, which makes your ride bumpier than usual. It may also cause less traction, which leads to a greater stopping distance. Both instances are accidents waiting to happen. Thereby, it is important that you check and maintain proper pressure in your car’s tires as often as possible. Not only will this make your ride safer, but your tires will also have a longer lifespan.
9. Vehicle fluids
Aside from engine oil, your car requires different vehicle fluids that need to be on a certain level at all times. If you want to guarantee that you will have a smooth ride, check your vehicle fluids regularly. The fluids you may want to check are the coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and your windshield washer fluid. It is important for you to learn more about these fluids and their effects in your vehicle when you refill with too much or too little.
10. Windshield wiper blades
Nobody really wants to get caught up in heavy rains, only to find that their windshield wipers are not working properly. People tend to overlook the inspection of their windshield wipers, which leads to these kinds of situations. Thereby, in order to ensure that your windshield wipers are working when you need them the most, check that their blades are in good shape. As a general rule of thumb, replace your wiper blades every six months, but it is also a good idea to check it yourself if it’s completely worn out or not.
While most vehicle owners or drivers think that they already know the basics about their cars, it is still important to keep the avenue for learning open. This is because apart from the basics, there are several other information that will definitely help you in road accidents or other unforeseen events if you know more about your vehicle. Thus, take some time to learn more about automotive and vehicles to be able to be prepared for any situation you may end up facing on the road.
Featured image: Martin Katler/Unsplash