Vehicle Maintenance Tips for New or Young Drivers
Like any mechanical device, automobiles require regular maintenance in order to perform their best and retain as much value as possible over time. If left unchecked and unmaintained, problems can grow and result in unnecessary and expensive repairs. Below are some vehicle maintenance tips for new or young drivers that will help explain the importance of taking care of your car.
1. ROUTINELY CHECK AND MAINTAIN FLUID LEVELS
Engine oil, wiper fluid, antifreeze, brake fluids… There are quite a few fluids necessary for the proper function and maintenance of a vehicle. You’ll want to keep an eye on these and take note to schedule regular oil changes. Oil and other fluids directly correlate to your vehicle’s ability to operate properly. Neglect them, and you could be left with a car that needs a new engine. Over time, the recommended number of miles between oil changes has changed due to technological improvements, but around 5,000 to 7,500 miles is a pretty good average. Always defer to your owner’s manual for the frequency of oil changes for your specific vehicle.
2. KEEP IT CLEAN
While maintaining the outside body and interior of the vehicle may not affect function too much, it will definitely help retain some value in the vehicle. You may very well want to sell or replace your vehicle down the road, and having it look good is going to add more value to its potential selling price. Keeping your vehicle clean will also help to reduce wear and tear from being cluttered or dirty.
3. PAY ATTENTION TO HOW THINGS FEEL AND SOUND
A reduction in the “smoothness” of how your vehicle sounds and rides means something within the operating status of your vehicle has changed as well. Over time, things will never be exactly the same as a brand new car, but a change you can pick up with your senses may indicate a problem or the beginnings of one. New drivers should take note of how things feel and sound early on and should consider taking their vehicles in for maintenance if they feel shaking, vibrating, or issues with their brakes, or if they hear screeching, rubbing, or another unusual sound. Some other examples include a bumpy or rough ride, brake system noises, or your vehicle pulling to one side or the other.
Your tires are going to wear over time and eventually need replacing. This is normal on all vehicles. As they wear, this can affect steering, as well as decreasing the overall integrity of the tire. As a tire weakens, the chances of a tire failure increase. It’s very important to keep an eye both on your tire pressure and any irregular wear to keep your tires safe and keep you in control of your vehicle. Remember to rotate your tires according to your owner’s manual recommendations.
5. LOCK YOUR VEHICLE
While not direct vehicle maintenance, it’s a good idea to lock your vehicle in order to deter any would-be thieves from stealing it. Annual vehicle thefts number in the hundreds of thousands each year in the U.S. A stolen vehicle has no value to you so keep your vehicle and any belongings inside safe.
Postle Tire Barn’s automotive technicians are happy to introduce themselves and help you begin your life-long relationship with your vehicle. Postle Tire Barn is a family owned and operated tire and automotive repair shop in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. We’re located on Jug Factory Road behind McDonalds. We’ve been West Alabama’s number one choice for wheel and tire services for more than 45 years. Contact us today!