Heading into spring cleaning season, there is no better time to consider tuning up your car and making sure you are equipped to drive safely and maintain your vehicle’s condition over time.
The words “expensive” and “stressful” are often top of mind when car owners think about servicing their vehicles. National automotive expert Barbara Terry says that doesn’t have to be the case. Barbara is partnered with Cars.com to provide the information people need to make confident decisions when it comes to dealing with their cars.
Tips for women and their cars:
Educate yourself. The more you know about your car, the better off you will be. Knowledge is power. Get to know your vehicle, so that you are familiar with it and the owner's manual, which will come in handy in understanding basic maintenance needs, so that you are well-prepared before walking into a service center.
Keep maintained. Keep current on your vehicle maintenance, as per your owner's manual – this will help to minimize the repairs that may be necessary. Some common areas to maintain include:
· There is a simple hack for checking your tire pressure: Take a standard US penny with Abe Lincoln’s head on it. Insert the penny into a space between the tread of the tire. If you can see the top of his head, it’s time for a refill.
· When to change your oil and what type to use: You should change your oil every 6 months, or about every 3,000 miles. The intervals vary by manufacturer, so consult your owner's manual and locate what type of oil to use.
· Radiator fluid levels: Your radiator should always maintain a half-antifreeze/half-water mix. You can see the level of the fluid through your overflow container.
Find the right service provider and know what you should be paying ahead of time. Walking into a service center can be a daunting experience. Fortunately, Cars.com’s new “Service & Repair” feature helps you understand how much you should be paying to service your car while also providing details on service centers in your area with consumer reviews to help you make the right decision. No resource existed like this before.
Keep an emergency survival kit. Every driver should keep an emergency car kit in their car with a variety of items in case you experience a breakdown. You can never be too careful. Some of the smartest items to include are:
1. Box of Band-Aids, gauze and aspirin
2. A flashlight with extra batteries
3. Can of Tire Fix never hurts for a quick, temporary fix to that annoying flat tire
4. You'll always need jumper cables or a jump box, road trip or not, for a dead or weak battery
5. Blanket in case you break down on the side of the road and it’s freezing outside