One of life’s big accomplishments is owning your first car. It’s the kind of thing that often takes time, energy and work to make happen– something you’ve saved for and ultimately want to take good care of, since it’s almost like having a baby in the family.
What are some tips for taking care of your first car?
First, cleanliness is important. Don’t let dirt and grime take over. Your car is not a garbage can or a spare room where you just throw stuff and let it pile up. The best thing you can do is set aside one day a month where you clean your car’s interior and exterior. That means vacuuming the carpeting, shaking off the mats, windexing the windows, and going through the carwash, complete with wax toward the end.
Next, don’t forget to change your oil. In the past, this was done every 3,000 miles. Nowadays, things are a bit different. Check your owner’s manual to see what is recommended. Most vehicles need an oil change every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Oil is essential to your vehicle running well.
Also, it’s a good idea to check your tire pressure once a month. They shouldn’t be overinflated or underinflated, and it’s important that they’re all around the same pressure so you don’t get uneven wear. Tires should be rotated, too, every 7,500 to 10,000 miles.
How are your brake pads? They don’t last forever. In general, brake pads get replaced every 25,000 miles. You can often tell if your pads are wearing down if you hear a noise (like a whistle or grinding noise) coming from one or more tires.
If you don’t plan to use your first car for a while, for whatever reason, then you should store it somewhere safe, dry and clean. You or someone you trust should start it every so often in order to maintain the battery charge. It’s also a good idea to drive it around a bit every now and then– cars are made to be driven after all.
Finally, keep tabs on your engine temperature gauge. You don’t want it running hot. Therefore, you might need to add antifreeze every 15,000 miles or so. Antifreeze not only keeps an engine from freezing, but also keeps it from overheating.
If you’re in the Lehighton, PA area and are looking for a reliable first car, check out the selection at 443 Auto Sales.