Buying your first vehicle is one of the most exciting experiences, giving you a sense of freedom and maturity that simply cannot be explained. However, owning a vehicle is also a huge responsibility, and given the significant amount of money that was used to make such a purchase, you should take maintenance very seriously.
Here are a few things you should keep in mind if you want your first vehicle to last for many, many years.
Read the owner’s manual as soon as you buy your first car
Too many drivers purchase a vehicle without even giving their owner’s manual a second look. They simply toss it into the glove compartment for safe keeping and break it out on the rare occasions they need to decode a light on the dashboard. Do yourself a favor, however, and make sure you at least give your manual a brief look-through. Every owner’s manual provides priceless information regarding things like recommended gas and oil to use and when routine maintenance is recommended for that particular make and model.
Avoid driving on E
We’re all guilty of it; we are in too much of a rush to get wherever we’re going that we tell ourselves that we will stop to fill up on gas later – even though we have a quarter tank left. Before you know it, your gas light turns on and you’re coasting on fumes all the way to the nearest gas station. Not only is this really risky, but it can wreak havoc on your engine, as gas acts as a coolant for electric fuel-pump motors, according to Consumer Reports. If there isn’t enough gas, your pump’s motor can overheat, costing you a lot more than a simple tank of gas.
Make sure your car’s tires are inflated correctly
Overinflating your tires can reduce traction prematurely, whereas underinflating can cause serious damage to the wheels themselves. This is again where reading your owner’s manual comes in handy, as it will highlight the ideal psi for your tires. Once you’ve determined this, be sure to check your tire pressure frequently – even the spare tire, which will avoid you being unprepared in an emergency situation.