Any driver understands that one of the most crucial components of roadway safety is maintaining your car. For first-time drivers, the importance of this maintenance may not be as evident. When all you want is to get back on the road and experience the freedom of driving for the first time, the last thing that’s probably on your mind is ensuring that your tires are in good condition and your oil is keeping your engine functioning properly.
With that in mind, our team of auto care experts has compiled some valuable information that can help first-time drivers keep this freedom by taking care of their vehicles. Our experts want to share some valuable maintenance tips that all young and first-time drivers need to know, as it can not only keep your car in proper running order but also keep you safer while out on the road.
Check & Replace Your Wiper Blades
When the rain starts to fall, you need to make sure you are able to see the road. You need wiper blades that are in working condition. Blades are just made of rubber and will wear out over time due to exposure to the elements. Old wiper blades will leave streaks that make it hard to see through and may even scratch your windshield. It is advised that you test your blades at least every year, if not twice annually, depending on how often you use them. You should also take the time to learn how to change your own wiper blades. It is a pretty easy task that you can do without the use of tools.
Change Your Oil Regularly
All engines require regular oil changes. The oil is responsible for ensuring that the various parts of your engine moving connectedly with minimal friction. Over time, oil becomes dirty and must be changed to maintain the health of your engine. Consult your vehicle manufacturer’s manual to find out how often it is suggested that you service your oil. Most modern vehicles need oil changes between every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, but some engines can go for around 7,000 or more between oil changes.
Rotate Your Tires & Check Air Pressure
Your tires are likely the most crucial factor in how your vehicle drives down the road. Your tires keep your car connected to the pavement, letting you turn, accelerate, and brake safely. Worn tires are at risk of blowing out, do not handle as they should, and may even present a greater risk in inclement weather. It is advised that you rotate your tires every time you change your oil. Also, you should have your alignment checked professionally every year to make sure your steering wheel is straight and your tires are at the correct angle for maximum traction and functionality.
Check Your Battery’s Charge
A dead battery can leave you stranded without notice, and to make things even worse, they can happen when you least expect it with little signs or symptoms of wear and tear. While many batteries come with warranties that last as long as five to six years, it is common for batteries to last only around two or three years before they need to be replaced, especially when dealing with extreme temperatures. When you change your oil, also check the voltage of your battery. If you notice a significant drop in voltage, it may be time to replace your battery.
Replace Worn Brake Pads
Your brakes are responsible for making sure you are able to safely bring your car to a complete stop. The majority of cars use disc-brakes — ceramic pads that press against a metal disc to stop your vehicle. The ceramic pads will wear down with time, so they have to be replaced. It is advised that you check the thickness of your brake pads every time you rotate your tires and be sure to change them when you start to get too worn.
Replace Your Air Filter
Your air filter is responsible for removing debris from the air that is pumped into your engine. As you put miles on your vehicle, your air filter will become gunked up with this debris and will need to be changed. We strongly recommend changing your air filter every 15,000 to 20,000 miles, but you may need to do it so sooner if you drive through dusty areas frequently. At the very least, you should check your air filter each time you change your oil.
Check Hoses & Belts
As a first-time driver, there is a strong likelihood that your car is not brand new. In fact, it is probably far from it. Driving an older vehicle means you have to pay even closer attention to its maintenance, Air hoses, timing chains, and serpentine belts usually last up to 60,000 miles or more. However, they can and will usually become a concern far before that. Make sure you pay close attention to these parts and look out for any signs of wear and tear. A broken timing belt can completely wreck your engine, leaving your car inoperable.
Replace Old Spark Plugs
Your spark plugs are small parts with a big role. Sadly, like all other parts of your car, they wear out over time. They have to be replaced every 60,000 to 75,000 miles depending on your vehicle. When one or more spark plugs are not functioning properly, your engine has to work even harder and can result in inconsistent performance. Have the spark plugs checked regularly and replace any that are dying or burnt out.
San Diego Auto Repair Shop
Automobile Repair Shop San Diego is a family-owned and operated business that has been providing the best repair experience. We will offer you hassle-free auto repairs starting with a precise damage assessment or estimate. We will tow your vehicle for FREE to our shop, organize for a rental car, and work directly with the insurance company to streamline the repair process. We will even pay up to $500 of your deductible. Contact us today to see how we can help.