As a first-time car owner, the joy of owning your first vehicle can quickly give way to the realisation that regular car maintenance is required for it to stay in tip-top condition. Here are some handy do’s and don’ts for first-time car owners that will help you keep your vehicle running smoothly and efficiently.
Do Regularly Check Your Car’s Fluids
Engine oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, and coolant – these are some of the key fluids that your car needs to function optimally. Check these fluids regularly, as per the recommendations in your vehicle’s owner manual, and top them up or change them when necessary.
Do Monitor Your Tyre Pressure
Tyres that are improperly inflated can lead to poor gas mileage, reduced tyre life, and even tyre blowouts. Make it a habit to check your tyre pressure at least once a month and before long trips.
Do Keep Your Car Clean
While it may seem purely cosmetic, keeping your car clean can actually help protect it. Dirt, salt, and other debris can corrode your car’s paintwork and undercarriage. Regular cleaning can help prevent rust and maintain your vehicle’s resale value.
Do Regularly Service Your Car
Even if your car seems to be running perfectly, regular servicing is essential. Routine car maintenance, such as changing the oil, replacing air filters, and checking the brakes, can prevent minor issues from turning into costly problems down the line.
Don’t Ignore Warning Lights
If any warning light appears on your car’s dashboard, don’t ignore it. These lights are designed to alert you to potential problems with your vehicle. Ignoring them could lead to serious mechanical issues and costly repairs.
Don’t Skip Scheduled Maintenance
Your car’s owner manual outlines a schedule for regular maintenance. Skipping these can lead to decreased performance, higher fuel consumption, and even major mechanical failures.
Don’t Let Your Fuel Run Too Low
Frequently driving your car with the fuel gauge on ‘E’ can damage your fuel system. Try to fill up when your tank is about one quarter full.
Don’t Dismiss Strange Noises
If your car starts making unusual noises, don’t dismiss them. These could be signs of serious problems. Get your car checked by a professional as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
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