Over the course of history, there were quite a few bad jokes made at the expense of the ladies behind the steering wheel. Of course, all these things made no sense whatsoever and driving skill has very little to do with gender.
However, according to a recent survey, women account for only 35.4% of car owners which means they are not as familiar with the automotive world from the get-go as gentlemen. So, their learning curve tends to be somewhat steeper.
Let’s see then if we can right these wrongs with this short crash course in the world of cars.
The owner’s manual
Essentially, the car owner’s manual is a document that breaks down the most important parts of your car, provides basic maintenance guidelines, features an incredibly useful troubleshooting section, and packs tons of other different bits of info that can make inexperienced car owner’s life much easier. If the car you have bought doesn’t come packed with one, be sure to search the web for some online database and get yourself a copy. Checking this document will turn you from zero to here in a matter of hours.
If you have a warranty, you’ll want to keep it here too so that you know it’s safe and where to access it. If you don’t there are other options like Cars Protection Plus that you can consider. You just need to be sure that you won’t be out of pocket unfairly.
The car servicing schedule
Essentially, every car owner needs to keep the track of the two main servicing types:
- Interim service – It covers all essential fluids and other components that tend to wear out rather quickly like tires, engine plugs, filters, etc. The servicing needs to be carried out every 6 months or 5,000 – 6,000 miles (what comes first).
- Full service – In this case, you will be servicing more complex and enduring elements like drive belts, the power steering system, the engine, and so on. Full car service needs to be performed once a year or every 12,000 miles.
Performing these two servicing types is not only beneficial but in some cases required. For instance, if you are living in Australia your car will need to pass a thorough inspection to be registered.
Most common types of failures
Every car, no matter how young or well-maintained is prone to breakdowns, damage, and failures. Knowing how to fix or at least properly diagnose these common issues can prove to be a true lifesaver. Let’s take Australia as an example once again. If your car breaks down near Sydney, you will be able to find a reliable car service in Woollahra or some other nearby district. But, what if you end up stranded in the middle of Outback? Being able to get your car to the first town can save you a lot of time and money.
All things tires
Tires are the only part of your car that comes in direct contact with the road so it’s natural that they wear down the most quickly and, at some point, inevitably cause problems. Your goal should be to be able to deal with all these quirks on your own. First, you should know how to check the tire pressure, and, if necessary, inflate the tires. Second, learn how to recognize are the tires worn out and do they need to be replaced. Finally, you should learn how to take off the wheel and install the spare unit.
The car’s aesthetics
In addition to mechanical upkeep, maintaining your car’s aesthetics is also crucial. Maintaining its exterior not only enhances its visual appeal but also protects against wear and tear. Paint protects cars against the elements, so any chips or scratches in their finish could expose metal underneath and potentially lead to corrosion and rusting. To address this problem, consider things such as Subaru touch up paint jobs which will allow you to seamlessly cover any scratches in your car’s paint job and maintain its lustrous finish. Regular washing and waxing also helps preserve its exterior appearance; keep in mind that well-kept cars look better, run better, and have greater resale values so any effort put towards its upkeep will surely pay off in the end.
Don’t worry if it learning takes some time or if you are not always able to identify the issue immediately – some drivers spend years behind the wheel without ever being sure why the control board lights up, mostly in the case of the dreaded ‘check engine indicator that points out to at least 10 different problems. But, even if they are not the most reliable way to identify exact car issues, control lights do a great job of giving the owners the signal that something is wrong and directing them where they should be looking for help.
The vehicle’s dimensions and limits
Yeah, this may sound silly but knowing how far you can push your vehicle and how well it accelerates during passing can save your life in the most literal manner possible. So, do your best to find an experienced driver or professional instructor, get to a safe training ground and drag the car through a couple of risky situations. Use this opportunity to practice situations like parallel parking, narrow passing, sharp turns, and sudden braking. The better you get to know the vehicle the safer you are going to be.
So, there you have it – the top seven things you should know about your car in order to become a better driver and more responsible owner. As we can see, all the things we have covered are truly not rocket science and can be mastered in a matter of days. Do your best then to check as many of the boxes we gave you as possible. The time and effort you invest into your four-wheeler will be more than returned.