Owning a car and maintaining a car are two very different things. While owning a car may be very exciting and practical, maintaining a vehicle takes some effort.
Allow our Lancaster PA auto repair experts to educate you on the 8 things every car owner should know:
- Follow Regular Car Maintenance Schedules in Your Owner’s Manual
The excitement of getting a new car may overshadow the importance of reading through your car’s owner’s manual. Don’t let that happen to you! Part of being a responsible car owner is knowing how to properly maintain your ride. The owner’s manual will tell you what regular service your car needs and when it needs it. It will also explain what all of the blinking lights on your dashboard mean in a concise manner.
- Battery & Jumper Cable BasicsDid you know that your car’s battery is like the pulse of your vehicle? Without it, your car simply won’t work. Car batteries that do not hold an adequate charge can cause damage to your car’s starter or charging system. One way to combat the chance of your car battery leaving you stranded is to have jumper cables on hand. These cheap investments can make all the difference when you need to get somewhere on a deadline and your battery is not cooperating.
- “Shake, Rattle & Roll” – Proper Care for Your Shocks, Struts & Brakes
If you ever experience your car rocking back and forth, rattling when you go over bumps or shaking when you try to brake, you need to pay special attention to the maintenance of your car’s shocks, struts and brakes. Your vehicle’s alignment, suspension and ability to quickly brake on a split-second’s notice are critical. Do not hesitate to get these things looked at and replaced by a trusted auto repair mechanic.
- Monitor Your Headlights & Taillights
The purpose of headlights and taillights is to ensure that other motorists see your vehicle. Not only do they notify other drivers of your location on the road and when you’re braking or about to make a turn, but they also help avoid accidents. Be sure to monitor your front and back lights and clean or replace them as necessary. Be mindful of the different types of light settings (high beams, low beams, running lights, fog lights, etc.) and when they should be safely used.
- Replace Your Windshield Wiper Blades
Just as you know headlights and taillights are vital for making sure your car is seen by other motorists, windshield wiper blades are very important for your own visibility and safety. Be sure to closely monitor the effectiveness of your wiper blades on a regular basis and know that wiper blades typically last about 6 months. This timeframe is determined by the amount of use and how long the rubber backing on the wiper blades spend “baking” in the sun (causing them to get very hard and not as effective at clearing your windshield of rain, snow, etc.).
- Know Your Tire 101
While many newer cars do not come with spare tires, it’s even more important to know what to do if you experience a flat tire while driving. One way to closely monitor the reliability of your tires is to check their tire pressure on a regular basis. Get yourself a tire gauge and consult the owner’s manual to know the correct PSI for each tire. Whether you rely on AAA to assist you or take your vehicle into an auto repair shop for new tires, be sure to not ignore your cars’ “shoes” until it’s too late.
- Keep Your Vehicle Well “Hydrated”
Just as our bodies need water to function, our vehicles rely on various fluids to operate properly. Engine oil, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid and windshield washer fluid are the five most crucial vehicle fluids to monitor. They not only keep your car running smoothly, but proper maintenance of these must-have-fluids can also prevent more costly repairs down the road. While many of these vehicle fluids can be monitored and changed on your own, it’s important to make sure the job gets done correctly because some of these fluids (i.e., engine oil) are considered the lifeline of a vehicle
- Pack an Emergency Roadside Kit
You never know when your car might break down and keep you stranded alongside the road. Having some essential items readily accessible is important in case of an emergency. Consider adding the following things to your emergency roadside kit: first aid supplies, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, tire gauge, gloves, rags, duct tape, tire sealant, flashlight, extra batteries, rope, reflective warning triangles and a warm blanket.
CNM Auto Repair Lancaster PA
At CNM Auto Repair, located in Lancaster Pa, we specialize in a variety of auto repair services (including car inspections) to keep your vehicle running smoothly and safely. Having a reliable car is important – let us help you maintain your vehicle.