Buying a new car is thrilling, and if the owner wants the thrill to last, they need to keep up the car’s maintenance. Before cars were computerized, most of the tasks could be left to the owner. However, there are still things the new car owner can do to help keep their ride in tip top shape. Following are six of them:
1. Read the Owner’s Manual
A surprising number of new car owners don’t read the owner’s manual, and after a few months they don’t even know where they last saw it. This is unfortunate, for the owner’s manual tells the owner what type of motor oil the car uses, the proper tire pressure and how many miles the car should go before it gets a tune-up. The number of cars that don’t last as long as they should because their owners didn’t bother to read the manual defies counting. Read the manual, and put it in a prominent place in the garage or in the glove compartment.
2. Check the Tires
Over or under inflated tires are a driving hazard. The owner should check the pressure at least once a month and before a long road trip. The tire pressure is found inside the jamb on the driver’s door and/or the glove compartment. If the car has a door that allows access to the gas tank, the tire pressure may also be found there. A pressure gauge should always be kept in the car.
The owner and even the people who drive the car regularly should practice learning how to change a flat tire. Have someone who’s done this before help the first time. Have the tires rotated every 7500 miles or so.
3. Take the Car in for a Tune-up
Take the car in for a tune-up according to the owner’s manual. If the warranty is still good, the mechanic will do what needs to be done for free.
4. Replace Windshield Wipers
Some cars go for years without having their windshield wipers replaced, which is a mistake. Chewed up windshield wipers can scratch up the windshield. Some experts recommend replacing wipers every six months or so though some can last longer if they have the grit washed off with a window washing solution.
5. Wash the Car
Washing and waxing the car isn’t just to keep it looking attractive, though that’s important. Taking care of the paint job helps prevent rust and corrosion from grimy or salted roads.
6. Be Mindful of the Car’s Fluids
Not long ago, different models and makes of cars could use the same fluids such as motor oil. Now, specific fluids are recommended for the specific make and model of car. Using what the owner’s manual recommends will extend the car’s life.