You’d think that we’d have a stronger relationship with them with the amount of money we spend on automobile payments, maintenance, and repairs. However, understanding our automobiles—how they work, maintain them, and maintenance costs—can be challenging. Since all of the parts, fluids, criteria to follow, and everything that might go wrong, cars and repair shops can appear frightening, but they don’t have to be. You don’t need to know all there is about your car, but you should know the essentials. To help you feel safer as a driver, here are five things you should know before getting behind the wheel:
1.Familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of automobile insurance.
Before we buy a car, we need to understand the following terms:
Every state requires you to have liability insurance, covering other people’s injuries and property damage. Property Damage (PD) or Bodily Injury (BI) are two terms you may hear (BI for short).
If you collide with another vehicle or collide with an object, collision insurance pays for the repairs to your car. Other situations are covered by comprehensive coverage. For instance, striking a deer, hailstorm damage, and theft are all examples.
It’s the amount you’ll spend for repairs out of pocket before your insurance comes in.
An endorsement, sometimes known as a “rider,” is a modification or addition to existing coverage. Erie Insurance, for example, has an ERIE Rate Lock endorsement that consumers can add to their insurance to ensure that their rates only increase if they change their policy, drivers, vehicles, or residence, not if they file a claim.
2.Year, make and model
The second piece of information you should have about your car is the year it was built and the make and model. They commonly make errors with the year or model, leading to significant issues. Fluids, components, and accessories for repairing and maintaining your car are all dependent on the car’s year, make, and model, so knowing this information is crucial. Car design, construction, and models can change dramatically over a year, and the parts necessary for your vehicle can go.
The VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is your car’s fingerprint (VIN). It’s a 17-digit number that includes information like your car’s creation date, location, make, model, and engine size. For the vehicle’s life duration, the VIN is attached to it. You must know where to look for this number, but it is not necessary to memorize it. Standing outside the vehicle on the driver’s side and looking at the corner of the dashboard where it meets the windshield is the easiest method to find it. When dealing with repair and insurance providers, your VIN comes in handy. If you wish to buy a car or buy parts, you may use your VIN to hunt for information.
4.Schedule of maintenance
Sticking to your car’s unique maintenance schedule is your best option for keeping it operating smoothly. Then, when it’s time to replace your oil (it’s no longer every 3,000 miles or every three months), check your fluids, and rotate your tyres, your calendar will tell you. Each car has its maintenance schedule that should follow to ensure that it performs at its best, is healthy, and lasts as long as possible. You can find your maintenance schedule in your owner’s handbook or a separate booklet that comes with it. Please read it and make sure you inspect and replace specific parts or fluids in your car according to the instructions.
Tire pressure is possibly the most overlooked aspect of car maintenance. We often ignore that light on the dashboard until we need to fill up the gas tank. Then there’s that occasion when we don’t have any air change or don’t want to do it. I despise pumping gas as much as I despise putting air in my tyres, however disregarding this signal increases our chances of getting a flat or blowing out, picking up a nail in the tyre, or early wearing out our tyres. Please stop doing this now, as it will shorten the life of our tyres and force us to replace them more regularly. Tires are costly, but they can endure for over 50,000 miles if properly maintained. On the other hand, never over-inflate your tyres!
While we may be anxious when the dashboard lights come on, they provide a window into the health of our vehicle. When a dashboard light came on, I was always concerned about what the mechanic would say was the problem. Because dashboard lights differ by manufacturer, your owner’s handbook will tell you what they mean, but it may not express how vital or insignificant specific lights are. I categorise the dashboard lights into three categories:
- Red: Look for help right away! These are frequently associated with passenger safety.
- Yellow: Check this out quickly.
- Go or activate: green or blue!
Understanding this essential information is the first step toward feeling in charge of your vehicle, speaking confidently with a mechanic, and making better maintenance decisions. Now get your maintenance handbook and make sure you’re up to date!