Your First Car: Tips On Taking Care Of Your Car From The Very Beginning

Posted: Dec 4 2019, 11:17pm CST | by , in How To

 

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Your First Car: Tips on Taking Care of Your Car From the Very Beginning

Getting your first car is an exciting step. You now have the freedom to get wherever you want, whenever you want. You can plan a road trip with your friends, skip the heinous morning commute on the train or the bus, and get your groceries home without trudging up that deadly hill. The world is your oyster! But then, having a car comes with responsibilities. You may not realize the amount of care your car will require to keep it in prime condition and good working order. The last thing you want is for your car to break down in the middle of your road trip or halfway up that hill.

Here are some things you should be aware of now that you own a vehicle.

  1. Car insurance

You're probably already well-aware of the importance of investing in car insurance. Accidents happen to all of us, even if we're the most careful drivers. Having car insurance in place will give you peace of mind that any unforeseen car-related expenses will be covered. Make sure that you read the fine print on your insurance policy, and that you know what exactly is covered by the insurance provider you select. Going for the best rate may not always mean you get the coverage you need. Investing in insurance that covers as many eventualities as possible will mean that you never have to pay medical bills or repairs for any accidents you may be involved in.

  1. Checking the oil

Changing or topping up your car's oil is one of the most basic types of routine maintenance you'll come across. Most professionals recommend that you check your oil levels every 3,000 miles, but this figure can change greatly depending on the conditions you're driving in and the model of the car you have. Oil is present as a lubricant to absorb heat and allow all the internal parts of the car to work seamlessly without overheating. Gradually, this oil breaks down and stops working effectively. You'll need to change the oil before it breaks down completely and causes serious engine issues that will cost you a lot of money to repair.

You can choose to bring your car to a mechanic to get the oil changed, or you can try your hand at the job yourself. It's fairly simple to do, but is a painstaking and lengthy task. To check your oil levels, you'll need to locate the dipstick under the hood of your car. This is a built-in mechanism that allows you to test how much oil is left in the vehicle. Simply remove the dipstick, wipe off any excess oil, then carefully reinsert it, and see where the oil hits on the stick. The dipstick will have a marker of some sort indicating what the optimal level should be. If the level is significantly below this marker, the oil should definitely be changed.

  1. Understanding the air conditioning system

Keeping tabs on the air conditioning system is crucial if you don't want to run the risk of driving around all summer with no cool air to relieve you in your car. Most cars' A/C systems work in the same way. Refrigerant, a coolant mixture, is moved through a pressurized loop, where it's compressed into a gas so it can cool the air that's pushed out of the vents in your car. There are lots of small issues that occur naturally within the system. When leaks occur within the system, you may notice a weak airflow or warm air. Or, if you notice funny noises or smells when you switch on the air conditioning, you may have an issue with your compressor's lubricant or your evaporator's residue build-up. Using the correct products for your auto air conditioning before these issues require professional servicing can save you a lot of time and money. Plus, you won't need to suffer through any long, hot car rides in the warm summer months.

  1. Rotate your tires

Your tires will go through a lot, particularly if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions or rough terrain. To get the most out of your tires, it's recommended that you rotate them periodically so that they wear evenly and take longer to wear down. Alternating the position of your tires will mean that none of them suffer an uneven workload. This is particularly important if your car is a front-wheel drive. The front tires tend to bear the brunt of the weight due to steering and weight distribution in the car. Even if you need to bring your car into a professional mechanic to rotate your tires, you'll ultimately save money by not buying fresh tires before you absolutely need to.

  1. Engine air filter

Replacing the air filter on your engine is a maintenance item that's frequently forgotten and overlooked. The filter's job is to prevent dust, dirt, and other contaminants from entering into the engine and causing damage. Over time, the filter becomes dirty and clogged and will stop doing its job properly. In turn, your engine may also become clogged, and much more serious (and expensive) problems can ensue. You should be able to check the state of your air filter just by looking at it. If you notice black patches, for instance, it's probably time for it to be changed.

  1. Cleaning

Of course, you should clean your car periodically. Having a clean car won’t affect its performance, but cleaning a car badly will damage it. For instance, before you start scrubbing away at your leather seats, invest in some leather cleaner and conditioner. These products will be much less expensive than brand-new leather seats.

Just because you’re a first-time car owner doesn’t mean you can’t be a pro at taking care of it. Using these tips, you’re sure to avoid some of the problems most first-time car owners stumble into unknowingly.

This story may contain affiliate links.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Manfred "Luigi" Lugmayr () is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 25 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets, tech and online shopping. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology news and tech and toy shopping hub.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml[@]i4u.com.

 

 

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