If you’re the new owner of a new or used car you may be unfamiliar with the maintenance chores that go along with vehicle ownership. While it’s a good idea to have your car checked regularly by a professional mechanic, there are also certain things you can and should do regularly to be sure your car is safe to drive. Here are a few to get you started:
Once a week, check the tires for any rocks, nails, or screws that may be embedded in the treads. Check that the tires are properly inflated; the required pounds of pressure are listed on a sticker on the inside of your driver’s door frame. You should also make sure the brake lights, backup lights, headlights, and turn signals all work properly.
Once a month, check the fluids under the hood. If your car is new it shouldn’t use any except wiper fluid; in an older vehicle low amounts of oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, or transmission fluid should be topped off and you should make an appointment to find the cause of the fluid leak.
Every 3000 miles you should get your oil changed, and this is a simple task you can do at home. Check online for a video to show you exactly how; you’ll be able to buy everything you need from an auto parts store and have it done in less than an hour. Make sure you wear old clothes to do this chore!
Windshield wipers, air filters, and light bulbs are all simple repair or replace jobs you can perform on your car. Check your owner’s manual to find out how often these should be done.
As a last note, if you’ve never done it you should practice changing a tire. Tires never go flat at a good time, and you’ll feel much more confident knowing you can handle the situation if it happens. If you’re not sure how it’s done ask a friend to show you how. Before you know it you’ll have bragging rights on auto maintenance chores!