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Car Maintenance Tips for First Time Car Buyers

By Hanna

Purchasing a new car is one of the greatest feelings in the world. But, wait! You’ll need to know a few basic maintenance tips to keep that car of yours in good condition or you’ll be finding yourself sitting in a lay-by calling AAA before you know it.


Committing to regular maintenance of your vehicle is mandatory if you want it to last the distance and offer you the best resale value when it comes time to part ways and purchase a new car at the dealership. Once your first joyride is over and you’re relaxed, take a look through the Engie manual to get a complete idea of everything that is expected of you. There may be special procedures that you’ll need to understand depending on the type of car you’ve bought, but for now, we’ll look at the four cornerstones of car maintenance.



Car oil change


You need to change the oil in your car periodically; you’ll need to check your owner’s manual to see how often you need to replace it. This can be anything from every 3,000 miles to once every 10,000 miles. The oil keeps all of the moving parts of your engine lubricated and cool, and without clean oil there will be excessive friction in the engine, ultimately leading to parts scraping against each other and engine failure.


As advised, besides these four important areas to keep an eye on your car owner’s manual will specify other things you’ll need to keep on top of. For example, you’ll need to keep your wipers clean and the windshield wiper fluid needs replenishing from time to time. You should know what the dashboard warning lights signify and what to do if they ever flash.


Finally, it’s important to know where your car’s spare tire and repair kit is stored, and school yourself on how to do car oil change, change the tires if you ever need to when out on the road.


Car battery maintenance


The battery gives power to all of your vehicle’s electrical systems. Treat your battery badly and your car will refuse to even start. You can check your car battery condition with the Engie app.


If you’ve purchased a used car, you’ll want to get a good handle on how old the battery in the car is. Batteries tend to decline in health after around four years, but with Proper car battery maintenance it may last even longer. You’ll generally notice the car begins to struggle to start if your battery is reaching the end of its useful life.


If you think there’s a problem with your battery, pop the hood when the car is not running and the engine is cool. If you have a digital multimeter you can check the voltage on the battery, which should be around 12.6 volts. Often, when there’s a problem with the battery there will be a white, chalky residue on top of the battery or around it. Finally, check the date on the battery, which should give you an idea of whether it’s likely on its last legs.  


Check tires


Tires do need to be replaced periodically, depending on the type of car you have and the wear and tear the tires go through on a daily basis. You should check the tire pressure once or twice a month to ensure you don’t need to pump them up. Running tires at a pressure that is too low will cause them excessive wear and tear and reduce your gas mileage. You should also check the tread depth by putting a penny into the groove. If you can see all of the ex-President’s head, it’s time to replace the tires.



Monitor coolant


One of the most important things in car maintenance is checking and monitoring your coolant system. the Coolant prevents your engine from overheating, and if you forget to monitor the coolant your car can overheat and you’ll have to wait until it cools down. Of course, running your engine without adequate cooling can cause it damage. Note that there are sometimes multiple coolants in your vehicle that cool different systems in your car, so check your owner’s manual.


To check the coolant, you’ll want to again pop the hood when the car is cool and the engine is off. It can be dangerous to interact with the coolant system of a car that’s been running recently, so don’t take the risk of getting burned. The coolant reserve is usually a white or clear container, bit make sure you don’t get it mixed up with the windscreen wiper fluid container. Indicators will show whether the coolant is near the ‘full’ line or not. Note that some coolants require you to mix them with water before adding them to your car.



Written in collaboration with Stateline Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Dealership

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