Cars are fantastic and useful pieces of machinery, and as long as they do their part, average people like us may take for granted just how sophisticated they are. Even though we sat in classes and went for driving lessons once upon a time, we weren't always taught everything we needed to know about our cars.
Some of these things might seem like common sense to many people, so it’s quite understandable if you might not feel comfortable asking your neighbor or mechanic about it.
But there’s no need to fret! Whether you're driving a car for the first time or you've driven one for decades, you will find this guide helpful.
Here Are 7 Things You Need to Know about Your Car
Car Owner's Manual
First and foremost, find your Car Owner's Manual and keep it somewhere safe. Typically, this manual would be located in the glove compartment, which is already an excellent place to keep it. Treat this book as if it were the bible of your car because, in many ways, it is.
Inside this manual, you'll find everything you need to know about your vehicle. Typically, car owner manuals cover things like maintenance schedules, information on what fuel to use, what size tyres you should have, and so on. Inside, you'll also find information on getting support for your car, such as a list of the manufacturer's preferred workshops where you can get the right car parts.
Cars need to be maintained regularly. The fundamental reason for this is because combustion engines need to get their oils changed to function at their best. Things like lubricants and other fluids will also need to be topped up if they're running low. Usually, maintenance needs to happen every few thousand kilometres or after a certain number of months. Check your car owner manual to be sure.
Aside from changing your engine oils, workshops and mechanics will also do a basic inspection of your car when you bring it in for maintenance. This is important so that they can spot small issues like car parts that need to be changed before they become a big problem for you. After all, you wouldn't want your car to die out in the middle of the road suddenly.
Tyres also need maintenance from time to time. Tyres are made of rubber, and they're always coming into contact with the road as they make your car move forward. After a while though, the tyres start to become 'bald', or when the treads begin to wear down.
This can be dangerous if left for too long because bald tyres can't grip the road effectively and could lead to your car sliding and getting into a collision. So, when it is necessary, get new tyres. Don't skimp on them either; much like your brakes and other critical car parts, it's always a great idea to make sure you're buying reliable products.
Keeping an eye on them is easy: whenever you bring your car in for regular maintenance, be sure to ask the mechanic to take a look at your tyres as well.
On your dashboard, usually around the speedometer, you'll see a bunch of warning lights. These warning lights are in the shape of many different symbols, each indicating a separate issue that may need your attention.
If you're not sure what any of them mean, you can find out more in your car owner manual. To make it easier, you can even do a simple Google search for warning lights and their meanings.
Do not take these warning lightly. If something like your 'Check Engine' light comes on, it would be a great idea to bring your car to your trusted workshop to have it checked.
Car batteries are one of the unsung heroes among your many car parts. Their primary role is to deliver the initial charge that gets the car engine started. Once the engine is running, a car battery will then get recharged. At the same time, it helps to power the electrical and electronic systems in the car.
Despite being recharged continuously, car batteries, too, need to be changed every year or two. If you're driving a start-stop kind of car (the kind that automatically stops when you're at a red light, for example), you'll need to make sure that you're buying the right type of battery.
As always, check your car owner manual for specifics on what kind of battery to use. Get your mechanic to check on the battery health whenever you bring your car in for regular maintenance. And of course, when a battery needs to be changed, change it.
Car Insurance Support
Buying insurance for your car is a necessity. You should do your homework and find out what kind of value-added services your insurance provider offers you. Quite often, these companies offer things like roadside assistance. 'Roadside assistance' means that if you ever get a flat tyre, or if your car can't start, or worst yet if you get into a car accident, they'll come to the rescue.
Be sure to find out what their emergency hotline number is and have that number saved in your phone. Better yet, please write it down in the car owner's manual that you keep safe in your glove compartment.
For many people, window tinting is a way to make their cars look cooler. Tinting also makes your vehicle feel literally cooler by blocking the heat that comes in through sunlight. It is undoubtedly something you’d thank for handy when driving under the hot Australian sun!
What you should know about window tinting is that there are legal limits to just how dark you can make your windows. The limit is typically based on how much light can get through the windows. This is why tinting becomes illegal when you can't see the inside of the car at all.
On top of that, your local government may set different limits for different windows on the car. For example, you may find that you can make rear windows darker than front windows. Whatever the case may be, always refer to local laws on window tinting.
Some tinting films also offer added 'security'. In this context, what that means is that the film makes it tougher for criminals to smash your window. It might cost a little bit more, but choosing a tinting film with added security is a worthwhile investment.
Last but not least, when it comes to tinting your windows, don't skimp on this either. Go to a reputable dealer who knows how to apply the tinting properly, or else you might end up with ugly air bubbles appearing all over your windows! You will find Carpart’s directory very handy in finding car professionals, auto shops, and car parts dealers. Check it out now!
By Ray Hasbollah