Essential Car Maintenance for First-time Vehicle Owners

Having your own car is a milestone in many people’s lives. It can be quite the struggle and the experience of acquiring your own, especially if you’re not all too familiar with vehicle ownership. But being a car owner doesn’t end with purchasing a car and taking it for drives. Just like with other machines, a car is something that needs regular maintenance. For most cars, requiring care starts at the five thousand mile mark (if you’re buying brand new, especially), and then every five to ten thousand miles after that. However, a consistent and regular check-up is in due to make sure there’s nothing wrong.

Regular maintenance ensures that your car will run safely — something that’s quite often overlooked and will have fewer major issues as you would have prevented them. However, the question many car owners are worried about is whether they need a mechanic for maintenance or can they do it on their own. To very quickly answer that question, yes and no. Some aspects of the maintenance are best left to a professional. Other smaller aspects are something that the owner can do. For the latter, below are some of those: maintenance tips for beginner car owners.

Read the Manual

Almost every machine we purchase would come with a manual. Cars are included in that, making sure you find yours (it’s generally in the glove compartment). If you don’t have a physical copy, an online format for your car’s model is probably on the manufacturer’s website. If not, contact your supplier for one.

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Make sure to comb through the manual. You’ll find many important details about your car, such as its size, diameter, and weight limit. The latter is particularly helpful when torn between using your car to move your furniture or hiring a hauling truck to do it for you. It can also tell you its suggested maintenance schedule, such as changing the oil and the filter, rotating tires, etc. That is valuable information, especially when planning long trips.

Check Your Tires After Long Travel

Your car’s tires are one of the most critical parts of your vehicle. It’s what carries the whole vehicle and allows it to move. That’s why it needs to be adequately maintained to ensure a smooth experience and lower the chance of having a flat tire.

Suppose you don’t know how to learn the correct method of adding air to your tires. You also need to know what tire pressure is right for your car. This is of particular importance as under or over-inflated tires can cause problems down the line, not to mention an accident waiting to happen. Always carry a spare tire with you to have something in case of an emergency.

Follow Your Oil Schedule

Changing your oil is something all car owners should try to learn. It’s crucial to keeping your parts well lubricated and prevent them from grinding and rubbing against each other, which increases wear and tear. Also, if you don’t change it regularly, it can thicken and become a contaminant, increasing friction in your engine even more.

If you’re not too sure what kind of oil (whether it’s fully synthetic, synthetic blend, or petroleum oil) to use, don’t be afraid to ask. You can check your manual to have any information regarding that, or you can go online and see what your fellow car owners (of the same brand and model) have to say.

Keep the Interior Clean

While this one doesn’t require technical ability, keeping your interior clean is one that can make or break your experience. You’ll be the one staying inside your car the most, so your experience inside it matters. Not to mention that a car’s interior is the best place for germs and bacteria to gather, and for your own health, it’s best kept clean.

While there isn’t a magic way to keep your car squeaky clean, you can start by keeping a trash bin. Always empty that trash bin whenever you leave your vehicle — making it a habit is necessary as you never want to leave anything that can invite insects or pests. Also, it’s a good idea not to eat in your car, but if you ever do, make sure to either vacuum crumbs immediately or use a surface to catch them.

There are even more things many car owners should learn, such as replacing the windshield wipers, learning how to change a tire, and more. However, for first-time car owners, these tips are among the most important to learn first. Maintaining your car isn’t exactly the most fun thing to do, but it can go a long way in both longevity and safety.

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