You bought the new or new-to-you car, and you feel amazing about it. You’re ready to take it out on the open road, or maybe you were antsy and you already took it across state to go camping or to see family. Awesome. But car owners who are super excited about that new (or used) ride should crawl before they walk when it comes to grinding away at putting rubber to road.
It’s always good to make sure you have some good rules of thumb for car upkeep. Yeah, that new model may literally have 27 miles on it and smell like it just came off the line for another six months, but car owners need to stay on top of upkeep. Here are eight things responsible car owners can do to keep their new car running well for a long time.
Know when to change your car’s oil.
Newer cars can probably go past the 4,000-5,000-mile suggested mark, but it’s always good to check your owner’s manual to see the targeted mileage.
Find a great mechanic.
This will definitely come in handy as you put miles on the vehicle. Car owners can take advantage of a great relationship with a mechanic to build trust that someone who knows what they’re doing is handling your car well.
Know how to replace your windshield wipers.
Sounds simple, but there are countless car owners who have tried and failed to replace those blades. Replace them every six months and if you need help, check out manuals and online videos that can go through step-by-step processes.
Check all the fluids in your car.
From oil to power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid to antifreeze, you should have a running knowledge of what and when to replace.
Key an eye on the check engine light.
When that terrifying yellow or orange light comes on indicating you need to check something out, don’t panic. Just make sure to take it into your trusted mechanic (above) as soon as you can. Maybe it’s a sensor problem, maybe your transmission is about to quit. Make sure to stay on top of it.
Have a roadside emergency kit on hand.
Most people forget about this, but having one of these on hand will make a huge difference. If your car breaks down you need something to help patch things up or that will help tide you over until help comes.
Change your air filter as recommended (or every six months).
Depending on the year or type of vehicle, make sure to cite the owners manual to know when to change this. Having a clean air filter will help increase your fuel efficiency.
Check your tires.
From bumpy roads to desert trips to everyday wear and tear, it’s important to make sure you have healthy tires. Some climates can be brutal on tires and mess with tire pressure. Always keep an eye on them before and after long hauls, and don’t depend on flat treads to carry you along.
What are some other tips you have for car owners just starting out with a new ride?