What Should I Know How To Do On My Vehicle?
I started out feeling I knew a good amount about my car, you know the important stuff in the car like Sirius Radio, DVD Player and Seat Warmer…Atleast that is what I thought was the most important information to know, until I broke down. I was the first car in the turning lane towards the grocery store, the light turns green and I went to accelerate and turn, my car wouldn’t go. I did what I knew and I turned off the radio. Great now what, with my mind racing what was I suppose to do next? It was 10 a.m. in the middle of January, in Wisconsin and I had a crying 6 month old in the backseat, I was blanking on what I needed to do. I pushed my hazards light and tried to signal people around me. In that moment I was reaching for my phone to call a tow truck trying to keep tears out of my eyes, a man walking to his car from the grocery store ran over and said “Let’s move it!” I jumped out, thankful for this man to see me struggling. We pushed the vehicle out-of-the-way of traffic into the grocery store parking lot. With my heart racing I thanked the man, got into my vehicle and called the tow truck.
Looking back on that moment, that was 5 years ago, before I met my mechanic husband, before I realized I needed to learn more about my vehicle, and before I cared about maintenance on my vehicle. It was completely my fault that my car had broken down, I didn’t keep up with the scheduled maintenance, I didn’t care about my fluid flushes, and I thought my car was expensive enough it will be fine. Boy, was I wrong. I had a coolant leak in my vehicle, which I would have known about if I would have taken my car into the shop to get an inspection. I saw that check engine light, and just thought singing in my head, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine”. I let that light shine until it cost me a blown head gasket. Some lessons you’ve got to learn the hard way, however sometimes just keeping yourself informed and your children informed it the best avenue. Below are the TOP TIPS, I think are best to know how to do on your own.
How to turn on your hazard lights (4-ways).
I think this is the most important button you need to know on your car. Your hazards can save you, it’s what brings attention to your car if something is wrong. This can be something wrong on your vehicle, to slow people down , to bring attention to the other drivers around you. The hazards are in different spots on many different vehicles, check your owner’s manual if you have any questions where your hazard lights are.
How to check your tire pressure
On the inside of your driver side door, you will find the tire pressure levels recommended for your front and back tires. You can check your tire pressure using either a small tire pressure gauge (around $10) that you can keep in your car or at the gas station and check using the air pressure pump there. Making sure your tires are the appropriate fill will save you money in gas, and in new tires. If they aren’t inflated properly they can cause your tired uneven wear, costing you, and not keeping you as safe on the road.
How to put air in to your tires.
If you notice that your tires are low on air, you need to fill them ASAP. Make sure you’ve read the first tip above about how to check your tire pressure and adhere to the recommended settings. Head over to your closest gas station and fill the tire(s) with the recommended amount of air. Make sure to keep an eye on the tires that needed air, as it could be a sign of a leak.
How to refill your washer fluid.
There is nothing worse than driving done the highway in the midwest in a snow storm, with salt covering your windshield and realizing you’re out of washer fluid. Knowing how to add washer fluid to your car can save you from a wreck, and it’s easier than you think! Checking it regularly can save you from those moments of needing to stop at a gas station, after you realize you need it. However here’s the easy tips on refilling your washer fluid. Pop your hood, Locate the pop top with the image of windshield wipers on it, pop this open, pour washer fluid until you can see the fluid or hit the max fill line. This is easier and a little cleaner if you have a funnel, but don’t fret if you don’t have one, if you splash a little on your hands it’s ok, just make sure not to touch your face and washer your hands once you’re finished topping it off.
How to check your oil
Maybe your car is smelling a little funny, maybe your vehicles low oil light has come on. If your oil light comes on, it can be scary. Oil is your cars life line, something you need to make sure your changing at the recommended mileage based on your Independent Auto Repair Shops recommendation. Be sure to keep an eye out for dark, wet spots under your car if your oil is low often, to make sure it’s not leaking. If you notice spots under your car, make sure to check your oil before you start your vehicle. To check your oil on your own, grab a paper towel out of the house before you head out. Next pop your hood, look for the oil can symbol on a stick, pull out the oil dip stick and wipe it off on the paper towel. Now dip the stick back in the hole, and try to pull it out as straight as possible. Once you pull out the stick, view where the oil line is touching. There will be a couple of lines on the stick (Low & High) your oil should land more towards the high side. If your oil is closer to the low side, give your local auto repair shop a call and get your self in for an oil change soon. Make sure to mention to them, your oil seemed a little low when you checked it.
These are just 5 tips on caring for my car that I feel that I use the most. Do you have a request you’d like me to write on what would help you on your vehicle? Let me know, click on the “How Can I Make Your Day Better” and really let me know how I can improve your life. As always remember if you’re in Madison, WI, Dane County and looking for the best automotive repair and maintenance, look no further than family owned Aeschbach Automotive. With their courtesy digital inspection on every service, it keeps me up to date and knowledgable on what is wrong with my car, what’s right, and what I need to look for coming up.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton