https://ourstart.com/top-10-auto-insurance-companies-2018/I remember that moment when I bought my first vehicle, and I was out of college. I remember driving home in my shiny new red convertible Tracker (Similar to a Jeep but cheaper), hoping I wouldn’t have to stop on a steep city hill and switch gears. All of the fanfare was only the beginning of the true test of vehicle ownership. The next stage was maintaining this machine. I’m here to tell you that car maintenance is not rocket science. I hope that in today’s article we can help provide you with some easy car tips to get you started on maintaining your vehicle.
Checking on the Oil
If there is one very big thing that you will need to check on routinely with your vehicle, it is the oil. Checking the oil is simple and only requires a few steps. First, pop your hood open. Then look for your oil dipstick. It should be right next to where you will dip it in a tube-like piece to check your oil. If you don’t know where this is, check your owner’s manual. Have a rag, paper towel, or something ready that you can get oil on. Because oil does not come out of clothes easily, do not use your sleeve. Just an easy car tip for you. Use something that you can throw away.
Next, clean off your oil dipstick with your rag and then dip your oil stick into the tube all the way to the bottom and then pull it out. Pull it out and make sure that the oil is in the correct range. There should be indicator levels on the stick showing you if you need to add oil or if it’s still in good range.
If you do need to add oil, simply get the kind of oil that is recommended for your vehicle at any local auto store. Many gas stations also carry the most popular types of oils needed for vehicles.
Keep Your Oil Maintained
Every 3,000 miles or so it is going to be important to get your oil changed. You can this yourself, or you can take it into an oil change facility. The process of waiting for your oil to be changed at a business that changes oil takes about 15 minutes. If you have to wait in line, expect a longer wait. Because this article is about easy car tips, I’m not going to go into how to change your own oil.
Your car battery may not seem very important. But that day when your car won’t start, or your sensor lights aren’t working properly; you may just wish you took better care of your battery. I recently learned the hard way how important it is to know the state of your battery. After having my truck for 14 years and 200,000 miles, it was time to trade it in. So I bought a used truck that had only 100,000 miles on it. To me, it was like a new truck. Though the truck seemed new, unknown to me, the battery wasn’t as new as I expected.
A Not So Merry Experience
Last year, shortly after buying this truck, it was Christmas time. So I loaded up my chainsaw and sled to drive to the mountains with my little girl to cut down a Christmas tree. There was a four-wheel dirt road with only 6 inches or so of snow that I turned off on. A lot of trees that way! The 6 inches of snow shouldn’t have been a problem with the four-wheel drive. That is if my battery had been strong enough to put the truck in four-wheel drive. We got stuck, and used our extra pine boughs that were meant for wreath making to put under the tires so we could drive out. It ended up that we actually needed to be towed out of the mess I got us into.
A couple of weeks later, my truck battery wouldn’t start, and sure enough, it was old and now dead. I learned that your battery runs all of those sensor lights on newer type of vehicles. If your battery is close to dying, even though you may think you are in four-wheel drive, you may not be. I was not in four-wheel drive the day we got stuck.
So, now that I hope I have you convinced of the importance of maintaining your battery let me give you some easy car tips for battery maintenance.
Check the Battery Connection
A good battery connection is important. Just a little bit of white residue on the posts can keep your car from starting. Simply do a visual check and see if there is any white residue that needs to be removed.
Clean the Posts
Sometimes the posts just need to be cleaned up. This is a simple process. Make sure to remove the negative cable first. If it is stuck on, use a flat head screwdriver to pry them loose. Then clean the posts. I recommend using a professional product from an auto store. Most of the products are not much more than baking soda and water. If this is your first time cleaning posts, I’d stick with the professional mix, and then make your own later when you feel more confident. Apply the fluid to the posts and clean with a wire brush. Rinse the fluid with a little water. Dry the posts with a rag and then put the battery terminals back on.
Plug in Your Engine
If your vehicle has the option of plugging in your engine, I highly recommend doing that when the temperatures plummet. By keeping your engine warm, it will also keep your oil warm and prolong the life of your battery.
I’ve given you two easy car maintenance tips that I hope will spare you some headaches. A car without oil can quickly turn into a burned up engine. Let’s not even get into what that could mean as far as money. Be proactive and change your oil on schedule every 3,000 miles. In between that time, make sure to check your oil routinely, especially before and during a big trip. Maintain your battery. It’s easy and doesn’t take much time. You can even pull up to an auto store, and they should be able to check your battery life without charge. It really does pay to be proactive. I hope that these two easy car tips have helped you. Happy trails and drive safe!
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