I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no car expert. I absolutely love my vehicle and take pride in keeping it in tip-top shape, but if you popped the hood and asked me what’s underneath, there’s a slight (good) chance I wouldn’t be able to answer your question. I’m a female, so this is a typical response, right? Well, kind of. It’s mostly just a typical response from me, though, considering more women today are able to perform routine vehicle maintenance on their car, according to a study by the Automotive Aftermarket. If you’re like me, and I think it’s safe to say that a good majority of women are, you’re still somewhat clueless when it comes to working on your vehicle and can’t even perform some of the most basic repairs like an oil change. What chick really wants to tinker around underneath the hood of their car and get messy and greasy anyway? That’s what the service department at Lebanon Ford is for ;-). Before your vehicle needs to be taken in to your favorite automotive shop or dealership to be serviced, there are a few rules to keep in mind that will help you care for your car, even if you’re not extremely knowledgeable in automotive mechanics. The following tips are even easy enough for girls (and guys) to perform and can even help save you some money down the road.
8 DIY Car Car Tips
- Read your owner’s manual. Learn it. Live it. Love it. This free book that comes with your car is the primary source of information when it comes to learning everything you need to know about your vehicle. Whether you want to learn your car’s maintenance schedule or preset your radio stations, the owner’s manual has the answers.
- Create a preventative checklist. Have a car-care expert perform preventive maintenance services on a regular basis. This includes checking all fluid levels, inspecting belts and hoses, monitoring tire pressure and the engine oil in addition to examining all electrical wires, the battery and lights.
- Maintain the engine and air filter. This is one of the most important rules to remember. The engine is the heart of your vehicle and needs some extra love. For those who don’t know how to work on an engine (me), refer to your owner’s manual to see when parts should be swapped out and serviced. Then, make an appointment to have this work done.
- Learn how to change a tire and check tire pressure. It’s pretty annoying when you experience flat tire, so the only way to overcome this problem is to learn how to replace one. You can simply ask a car-care professional to show you how to do this; our technicians are always willing to help. You can also avoid this by making sure your tires are filled to the proper pressure. You can find the proper tire pressure settings in your vehicle’s owner’s manual or on a decal in the door or glove compartment. Be sure to check and fill the spare tire as well in case you do happen to experience a flat.
- Control your gas consumption. Maintaining gas mileage is easier when you’re driving in accordance with the speed limit. To save even more gas, ensure your tires are properly inflated like stated above. Removing extra weight from your trunk or back seat can also help control gas consumption. We even put together a nifty little list of tricks that will help keep your gas tank in check.
- Clean your vehicle. Make sure the interior and exterior of your vehicle are clean. This will help avoid any distractions while on the road and provide a pleasant driving experience.
- Prepare for an emergency. Keep your vehicle emergency kit restocked. If you don’t have an emergency safety kit, create one with items like bottled water, a flashlight, flares, a blanket, and a phone number for roadside assistance.
- Trust your instincts. The minute you notice anything unusual about your car, make an appointment with a certified mechanic to have it inspected. This could be anything from strange noises, odd smells, leaks or problems with braking and handling. Some problems can lead to serious damage if they aren’t repaired. Carefully explain what’s going on with your vehicle to your mechanic for an accurate diagnosis. Be sure to get and keep a list of all repairs performed on your vehicle.
As always, if you have any questions about your car or need assistance with anything we mentioned in this post, give our service department a call at (513) 932-1010. Or you can send us a message and a Lebanon Ford team member will be in contact with you.