I thought I knew everything there was to know about cars. I knew how to put gas in my car and I (somehow) knew how to change my tires. That was it. That was the extent of my vehicle knowledge. I managed to run two perfectly fine cars into the ground because I didn’t take care of them, with the exception of putting gas into them and changing a tire on the side of the road after they shattered. I’m not exactly proud of this, but I think there are a lot of other people who share this lack of car knowledge, no matter how obvious it may come to some people.
I can now say, proudly, that my current car is in excellent condition and I am taking much better care of it. I still only posses the absolute bare minimum amount of car knowledge, but it is just enough to keep me from breaking down on the side of the road… for the seventh time. Hopefully these tips will help you go from knowing absolutely nothing about car maintenance to knowing just enough.
- Breaks Are Important — Apparently, your vehicle’s breaks are important. I wish I knew that when I was driving my first car. My breaks would start to squeak and then I would, very responsibly, ignore it until they completely broke. According to people much smarter than I, breaks last about 25,000 to 50,000 miles.
- Get Your Oil Changed — I’ve owned three cars and I’ve only taken one to get its oil changed. I know, I’m not proud. The first two cars are destroyed because of my poor maintenance. Get your oil changed.
- Get Your Tires Inspected — Experts recommend having your tires checked every six thousand miles, or when you are due for an oil change. I’m about as good at math as I am at car maintenance, but if I drove my car 50,000 miles before a tire rotation that I was supposed to get every six thousand miles, then I should’ve had around… 42 million tire rotations?
- Pay Attention — It’s important to periodically check car hoses and belts to see if they need replacing. You don’t have to do any of the difficult stuff, that’s what dealerships are for. If you see something wrong with your car, take it to them. Pay attention!
Again, I am not proud of the way I treated my cars. Every year, poor care and neglecting vehicles costs the economy over $2 billion. That’s not good. It’s such an easy fix, though. If you notice something wrong with your car, get it checked and please, whatever you do, don’t be like me.