You don’t have to be an automotive guru to own a car, but knowing a little about how your vehicle operates can save you some money and keep your vehicle running. Follow this guide to familiarize yourself with the basic things everyone should know about their car.
Year, Make, and Model
This tip might sound like a no-brainer, but shockingly, many car owners don’t know the year, make, and model of their car. The design and construction of cars can change tremendously from year to year, making it crucial to know exactly when your vehicle was made, as well as the make and model. For example, a 2018 Ford Escape might need different fluids than a 2020 Ford Escape.
The VIN Number
Think of your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) as your car’s fingerprint. The VIN is unique to your vehicle and identifies its manufacture date, place, make, model, engine size, and more. The VIN is a 17-digit code, which may make it hard to memorize, but you should know where to locate the number on your car.
The VIN is typically inside the driver’s side door or in the bottom corner of the driver’s side of the windshield. Your car’s VIN will come in handy for mechanics and insurance claims.
Your Car’s Maintenance Schedule
You should always keep a consistent preventative maintenance schedule to keep your car in the best shape. A few of the common items you’ll want to check up on include:
- Tire pressure and tread
- Oil and transmission fluids
- Headlights and turn signals
Along with knowing your maintenance schedule, every car owner should be familiar with standard vehicle maintenance terms. Knowing all the right terminology will ensure you’re receiving the right services and it will make your visit to the mechanic much more efficient.
Signs of Malfunctions
The final thing everyone should know about their car is what it does when something is broken or malfunctioning. Get familiar with how your vehicle sounds and operates in perfect condition. This way, when your car starts making unusual noises or shaking and vibrating, you’ll know something is off sooner rather than later. It’s best to familiarize yourself with the dashboard lights as well, as they can indicate things like low tire pressure or engine troubles.
Every new car owner should take the time to learn these basic concepts so that you can keep your car in the best shape for the long-haul.