Today, there are more women drivers on the road than ever before. However, a majority of women drivers hesitate when it comes to matters related to car maintenance, as they don’t know too much about it. Rather than letting an unscrupulous car technician take you for a ride, it pays to learn the basics of auto maintenance.
So, here are some auto maintenance tips for women drivers. These tips will make it less challenging for you when you visit a car repair shop.
Vital Car Fluid Maintenance
There are a few fluids in your car that you should know. These fluids play an important role in the functioning of your car and should be checked and maintained according to what your auto manufacturer recommends. You will be able to find this information in your car owner’s manual.
The six important fluids are as follows:
- Washer fluid: This is the fluid that goes into your windshield washer. Always use a commercial-grade solvent and top up the fluid every few days if you tend to use it often. Otherwise, check it every 7 to 10 days and fill up the tank when the level depletes.
- Brake fluid: This fluid helps the car brakes to work smoothly and fluently. However, it absorbs moisture and deteriorates with time. Every time you get your brakes checked and serviced, make sure the technician flushes out the brake fluid and then puts new fluid.
- Engine oil: This oil lubricates the mechanical parts of the engine. It should be changed according to the recommendations of your manufacturer. This can be anywhere from 3,000 miles to 10,000 miles.
- Radiator and engine coolant and antifreeze: You need the coolant during summer months to prevent overheating of the engine; and the antifreeze prevents the freezing of the engine during winter. Both, the antifreeze and coolant should be changed as per the car owner’s manual.
- Power steering fluid: If you let the power steering fluid run low, you will lose the ability to power steer your car. While there is no scheduled maintenance for it, get the fluid checked each time you take your car for a wash or service.
- Transmission fluid: You should get this fluid changed every 15,000 to 30,000 miles to ensure the transmission works smoothly.
Inspect the Tires
Remember the tires are the only part of the car that has contact with the road. The state of the tires and the amount of pressure they have will affect your road safety.
- Tire pressure: Underinflated tires increase fuel economy and also make it difficult to steer the car. If you are unsure of how much pressure your car tire should have, just check the inflation guidelines. You will find these guidelines on the doorjamb at the driver’s side. Tires tend to lose one pound per square inch of pressure per month. So, make it a point to get the pressure checked every two to three weeks.
- Tire rotation: Many car tires have uneven tread wear because of the style of driving and other factors. This decreases the life of the tires. You can ensure even tread wear by opting for tire rotation. When you get the tire rotated, also get the wheels aligned and balanced. This will enhance the life of the tires and ensure you enjoy a smoother and safer ride. You should get your car tires rotated every 5,000 miles.
- Visual inspection: Make sure you visually inspect the tires every few weeks for damage and wear. If you notice anything unusual, take your car immediately to a reputable and reliable car repair workshop.
- Replacing flat tire: A flat can happen to anyone, even you. Instead of waiting for emergency car services, which are very expensive, you should learn to replace a flat tire. While it is no fun, you will be self-sufficient. Get a car repair workshop to show you how to change a flat. Then practice it at home until you are comfortable doing it. You will be grateful for this knowledge if you ever get a flat.
Keep Your Nose, Ears, and Eyes Open
Your car will always give some signs that there is a problem. Look for things like leaks under the car or smoke or steam emanating from under the hood. Also, keep an eye on the warning lights on your dashboard. If they come on, it is time to take your car to the repair shop.
If you get a strange smell, your car may have sprung a leak. It means you require the services of an experienced and knowledgeable car technician. Also, sounds coming from your car are an indication of problems. If your engine makes a rattling sound or you hear a strange sound while braking, your car has a problem.
As a woman driver, don’t let your lack of knowledge be a disadvantage. Educate yourself about your car and its maintenance needs. This will help enhance the life of your car and also save you money in the long run.