Things For All Drivers to Know

Driving classes teach people driving tips and safety procedures.  However, it is only after Driver’s Ed classes that many people learn the other lower level stuff, the items about car maintenance and vehicle ownership.  If you are new to car ownership, or just would like a refresher, here are some things to know concerning your vehicle.

1)  Learn how to check your tire pressure. This is essential because when you drive with tires with low pressure, you’ll get poor gas mileage and you wear the tires out quickly. The majority of gas stations have an air station where you may add air to your tires.

2)  Do not forget to put a roadside emergency kit in your car. It’s smart to have a roadside emergency kit with flares, a flashlight, jumper cables and first aid supplies just in case you want them. Our friends at Brown’s Chrysler in Patchogue, NY like to remind their customers of this kit’s importance!

3) Know when you must get the tires rotated. This will really help prevent you from getting damaged tires. While the guideline to follow used to be every 3,000 miles, that is no longer true for all cars. Read your manual to know when your vehicle’s oil change is due but you’ll likely find it is some 5,000 to 8,000 miles now.  Usually it is a good idea to get this done when you are at the dealership already for a tire rotation.

4)  Seek out reasons why the “Check Engine” light may illuminate.  Check Engine Lights (CELs) illuminate if your vehicle’s central computer senses that something is not right.  In almost every case, it is not a serious situation – you may drive home.  But, if your CEL lights up, go to a dealership or your local garage within the next few days to make sure it’s nothing serious.  The mechanics can read the car’s computer codes and tell the mechanic what’s happening.

5)  Learn how to check all of your car’s fluids. It’s a great idea to know how to check and top all of your vehicle’s fluids. This includes oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze, and windshield wiper fluid. An owner’s manual for your specific vehicle will show you where all these items are located.

6)  Get a great mechanic. Do not just go with the least expensive or the repair place closest to you. Ask your family, friends or roommates for ideas or play it safe and bring your car to your local brand dealership.  Today’s vehicles are complex and you really need a wonderful mechanic who works in your interest.

7)  Learn how to replace windshield wiper blades. This is an easy way to save money.  Windshield wiper blades last 6-12 months and they are easy to switch out and in. You can find them at your nearest hypermarket. If you need some guidance, there are many YouTube videos that’ll show you how it’s done.