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Trade Secrets: 10 Things about Vehicle Repair and Maintenance Your Mechanic Never Told You

When you own a car, you need to bear in mind the necessity of regular maintenance.  While most mechanics will persuade you that you need their specialist knowledge to get the job done, that’s not always the case. There are a number of ways you can easily check and maintain your car so that you need to visit your mechanic less frequently than they would like.

Here we tell you 10 things about your car maintenance that your mechanic would prefer you not to know:

#1 Initial Setup of Your Car

Every year there is new technology featured in cars that requires a little input from the owner to setup. Things like keyless entry, comfort settings, delayed lighting and even sound system settings all need to be setup when the car is purchased, even when used, so that everything is personalized to your preferences.

Many people feel so daunted by the prospect of working out how to set up such things as Bluetooth that they leave it to a mechanic. Although it’s true to say that without the guidance of your owners’ manual, it may be complex, you can source everything you need to know fromnumerous online sources relating to your car’s make and model.

#2 Checking Your Fluids

There are several fluids used to ensure smooth driving which need to be checked on a regular basis so they’re all full to the necessary limits. Using a dipstick isn’t rocket science but you do need to know where to locate the fluid containers in the engine such as water and oil. The location of fluid containers can vary considerably from model to model, so it should be one of the first things you look for when you get a new car.

#3 Advice for Better Driving Practices

No matter whether new or used, any car you’re new to driving will need a breaking-in period, particularly if it’s fresh off the forecourt. Generally speaking, new cars have a break-in period of around 1,000 miles although there will be more definitive information in your owner’s manual. It’s worth consulting the manual to find out the ways you can maximize performance of your car through improved driving practices too.

#4 How to Troubleshoot Common Problems

There are some common problems you may or may not be faced with. Such things aschanging a tire or jump starting the engineare well worth knowing how to carry out safely, particularly if you live in a rural area. Most owners’ manuals include very clear and easy instructions on how to deal with these common problems on your own. Familiarizing yourself with these procedures is essential as part of being a responsible car owner.

#5 Access Technical Data Easily

It’s always useful to know the technical aspects of your car which is often needed for insurance purposes or for a quote for considerable work to it should the need arise. This kind of technical information is usually available in the manual but if you have bought used and there isn’t one available, there are plenty of online resources.

#6 Maintain Ideal Tire Pressure

Keeping the tires inflated to the right pressure is crucial in ensuring your car handles safely. When there is one tire putting the others out of whack by being flatter than the rest, your car can be very dangerous to drive. The correct tire pressure will be noted in your owners’ manual and some service stations have charts next to the air machines to use as a guideline.

#7 Clean and Protect Your Car’s Surfaces

Of course your car is your pride and joy and so you want it to be shiny like new all the time. Although most people pay attention to the outside of their car, they can sometimes neglect the interior. If you have leather seats you’ll need to invest in special cleaning fluid to maintain its finish. Chrome or wood accents will each need their own kind of cleaner to keep in pristine condition. Not only does regular cleaning keep a car looking brand new for longer, it will increase its price when you come to sell it.
#8 Find Out what the Gizmos Do
Every car is different but there are generally some buttons you don’t explore when you’re initially getting to know its driving qualities. Although randomly flicking switches and pressing buttons while you’re driving is tempting, it’s also very dangerous. Always check out what gizmos your car has on offer but do so from a stationary position! Even knowing how to get the reverse gear in your car is important when it’s all new to you.

#9 Deciphering Warning Lights

Most cars have quite a few warning lights and they’re there for a reason! It’s always a good idea to check the warning light system of your new car when you first get it so that you can understand what any mean if they should display while you’re driving. Even a warning light telling you that the trunk is not shut properly can be a distraction when driving so knowing what warning lights are located where is important.

#10 Know what your Warranty Covers

When you have issues with your new vehicle, you should know what is covered by the manufacturer or the dealer when it comes to fixing repairs. The details of your warranty should be made very clear to you when you purchase the car and many people include this as part of their initial negotiations on the sale. It’s important that you have in black and white what your warranty will cover and what it won’t before signing on the dotted line.

Your car is one of your biggest assets and many of us are totally reliant on them on a daily basis.Learn more how to correctly maintain yours and you won’t need to make unnecessary and expensive visits to mechanics any longer. Most of the regular maintenance checks you have to carry out have been covered in this article and we hope you can see for yourself that you don’t need mechanical experience for any of them.

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