If there’s one thing we know here at Freeman Grapevine, it’s that both young drivers and those who’ve recently obtained their licenses need to learn the basics of keeping their cars properly maintained. After all a new license is pretty much useless if your car isn’t road-worthy. There’s no doubt that everyone is eager, when they get their first car, to just jump in it and go. Surely all it takes is gassing up the tank and going, right? Well, not en-“tire”-ly, there is a lot more concerned in basic car maintenance besides filling up. Let us look briefly at some basic car maintenance pointers and advice for new drivers.
Checking your tires is one of the most important steps associated with basic car maintenance. It is essential to remember that your tires are one of the most important parts on your car. Buy and USE an air pressure gauge. Keeping the air pressure at the recommended PSI will help increase fuel efficiency, extend the lifespan of your tires, and help prevent tire related accidents. Also keep an eye on that tread wear. A tread-less tire can separate and cause a lot of damage to your wheel wells. Use the “Quarter Technique”…just type that into YouTube and you’ll see what I’m talking about if you don’t already know this trick. Remember, your tires are the only thing between you and the road.
In order for your car to run properly, all of its belts must be in good, working order. Belts are often made of rubber, and rubber will, at some point, weaken and fail. It is recommended that your belts be examined every 25,000 miles, and they should be replaced every 50,000 miles. Remember, it is much simpler to check and replace your belts than it is to be stranded somewhere when they break.
Keep that engine running smoothly by monitoring your fluids! Most cars have warning gauges, to let you know when you are low on fluids such as oil and coolant. However, these gauges are not foolproof. It’s extremely easy to manually check your fluid levels. get in the habit of doing this on a regular basis.
For example, checking your oil level is simple. Be sure your car is parked on level ground, and allow the motor time to cool. Once your motor is cool, locate the “dip stick”. Once you find it, pull it out and wipe it down. Now you can get an accurate reading. Insert the dip stick back into its place, and pull it out once again. When you look at it, you will be able to determine how much oil your car may or may not need. You’ll also be able to tell if the oil is old and needs replacement. It should be light translucent yellow. Anything darker, have it changed.
Checking your coolant is even easier. As with monitoring oil levels in your car, let your engine cool before you check your coolant. DO NOT open the cap while your motor is still hot, the coolant is still under pressure from the heat and will shoot everywhere. You will be burned. On most cars, it will not be necessary to remove your radiator cap in order to check your coolant. You will clearly be able to see if levels are between low and high.
Maintaining your car at this simple level is a must for all new and young drivers. Trust me, taking a few extra minutes to maintain your car can save you from having to make costly repairs. Freeman Grapevine has seen the types of damages first hand when something as simple as changing your oil is neglected.