Being a first-time car owner is an exhilarating experience. For sure you’ve spent months, even years, planning, researching, and saving for this important purchase, and now you finally hold the keys! Now what?
Whether you purchased a brand new car or a second-hand one, you need to know how to care for it. Proper car care means less need for repairs, which means fewer expenses down the road. Here are a few tips for first-time car owners like you.
Start by taking the time to read the owner’s manual
Manuals of anything are long and boring, which is why most of us skip it. Your car’s manual may not be the most interesting read, but it contains vital information about your car such as its features, maintenance schedule, the fluid or oil to use, and tire pressure, among others. If you have a second-hand car and the manual did not come with it, search the Internet for an online copy.
Organize your car documents
As early as now, keep your car documents organized and tidy. Put all your receipts for car maintenance services and repairs in a filing folder or envelope so that when the time comes when you decide to resell your car, you have proof that your car is well taken care of.
Keep your tires properly inflated
The ideal pressure level for your tires is indicated in the owner’s manual, so yes, it’s really important that you read it. Tires that are not properly inflated will wear your car faster, waste gas, and degrade the car’s handling. Check your tire’s pressure at least once a month and before going on a long trip.
Don’t skimp on carwashes
Regularly having your car washed preserves the integrity of your car. Have your car waxed after every wash, too. Your car is vulnerable to bird droppings, road grime, and splatters among others, so it’s best that you give it a proper cleaning on a regular basis to maintain the quality of your car paint.
Follow your maintenance schedule
The owner’s manual suggests how often you should avail maintenance services such as oil change and timing belt replacement. You can prolong the life of your car by staying on top of car maintenance.
Join the club
Being a member of a motor club has a lot of perks like discounts at partner establishments. Aside from that, they also offer 24-hour roadside assistance in the event that you get a flat tire or your car breaks down. Some auto insurance companies have an affiliated motor club. Give your agent a call to ask about it.
Secure your emergency roadside kit
This should include a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, three reflective triangles, flashlight, jumper cables, gloves, extra batteries, rags, duct tape, tire gauge, foam tire sealant, and tow rope, to name some of the most important things. You should also have a rain poncho, warm blanket, and drinking water in your car at all times.
Get a good local mechanic
Ask around, get recommendations, and research on well-qualified mechanics around your area. A good and reliable mechanic is hard to come by, so if you’re lucky enough to find one, keep a good relationship with them and make sure that every transaction is done with trust and respect.