Most people drive a car every single day, and have been since their teenage years. Despite the years of driving experience, many never learned some basic, important skills that are involved with maintaining your vehicle.
Whether you are 16 or 60, you should master the following 6 car skills. If you are a parent, make sure your teenagers do the same.
- How to check the oil – Even if you don’t plan on actually changing the oil yourself, at least know how to check the oil, read the dipstick, and determine if more oil needs to be added, or if you are due for an oil change. Time between oil changes varies depending on the year and model of your vehicle, as well as how much you drive. You may need an oil change change every 3-6 months. The engine is the heart of your vehicle, so knowing how to care for your engine is important.
- How to change a flat tire – Your tire could go flat anytime, anywhere. There may or may not be people around to help, so it’s important that you know how to change a tire by yourself, and that you have the appropriate tools. Everyone needs to know how to jack up the car, remove the flat tire, and replace it with a spare. Then you can take it to a mechanic nearby to get it fixed.
- How to check fluids – There are fluids that your car needs to function properly in addition to engine oil. You should know how to check and refill these fluids. These include the coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid and windshield washer fluid. Each fluid has its own location beneath the hood. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual to learn which is which.
- How to jump start the car – Knowing how to jump a car will be helpful not only for you, but other drivers who you may be able to help. If your battery is dead, grab some jumper cables (which you should keep in the back of your car) and hook up the cables to another vehicle. First attach the red positive clip to your battery, then the other red clip to their battery. Third, attach one of the black clips to the negative terminal on their battery, and lastly clip the last black clip to an unpainted metal surface on your car that isn’t near the battery.
- What to do after an accident – In the case of an accident, it is important (especially for young drivers) to know how to handle the situation. If possible, move your car to a safe spot off the road. Be calm and get out of your car. Check on the others involved. Call the police. Gather as much info as possible, taking pictures to document the scene if possible.
- Who to call – Last, but certainly not least, is knowing who to call when you need help. Bargain Tire has been providing the Pocatello, ID area with a wide variety of car maintenance services for many years, and our experienced mechanics can help with any of your car needs.