Car Maintenance Tips For New Drivers
Getting your driver’s license and hitting the road for the first time is an exciting feeling! You’ve worked hard to learn the rules of the road and it’s time to enjoy your newfound independence. Before you start planning your first road trip or creating your favorite driving playlist, it’s important to take a moment to learn the basics of car maintenance. Taking care of your vehicle is a smart strategy that can help you keep more money in your pocket and avoid unexpected breakdowns.
To give you a head start, our team at the Germain Motor Company has created this helpful guide that lists our top car maintenance tips for new drivers. You’ll learn some simple and effective ways that you can take care of your vehicle and enjoy thousands of miles of reliable performance. Let’s begin!
New Driver Car Maintenance Tips
Tip #1 – Check Your Tires
As the only thing standing between you and the road surface, your tires are responsible for keeping you safe, maximizing your fuel economy, and contributing to how well your vehicle handles. Before you hit the road, the first step you should take is to visually inspect your tires for any damage. If everything looks good, take a moment to check the tire pressure. This can be done using a handheld gauge or by using the vehicle’s onboard tire pressure monitoring system (if equipped). Remember, it can be difficult to tell whether a tire is overinflated or underinflated visually so don’t leave it up to chance! If you experience any tire-related problems or spot an issue, be sure to take your vehicle to a qualified service center as soon as possible.
Tip #2 – Inspect Wiper Blades & Windshield Washer Fluid
Especially important when driving in harsh weather conditions, your windshield wiper blades are responsible for keeping your field of vision clear. Since wiper blades use rubber compounds to clear the windshield, these materials can wear out over time and cause chattering or streaks on the glass. We recommend checking the condition of your wiper blades frequently and replacing them as necessary. At the same time, check the level of windshield washer fluid and top off the amount if required. You’ll typically find the windshield washer fluid reservoir beneath the hood, marked with a blue-colored icon. Wiper blades and wiper fluid are two inexpensive ways to ensure that you stay safe on the road when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Tip #3 – How Are Your Brakes?
Perhaps the most critical safety component of your car, your brakes need to be in good working condition in order to help you react to potential obstacles and avoid collisions. The most common symptoms of a brake-related problem include longer pedal travel when applying the brakes, a squealing noise or vibration felt in the steering wheel, or feeling your vehicle pull to one side when braking. Don’t ignore any of these warning signs! Bring your vehicle to an authorized service center and have a qualified technician inspect your brakes. Having a brake system that’s in proper working condition can be the difference between being involved in an accident and avoiding it altogether.
Tip #4 – Test Your Battery
Before you crank up the stereo to listen to your favorite tunes, it’s essential that your battery is in good health. Your battery is responsible for powering not only the stereo system but also important features like your headlights, power windows, turn signals, HVAC system, and much more. Over time, your battery can wear out and suffer from reduced performance. You certainly don’t want to find yourself stranded on the side of the road due to a dead battery! Common warning signs of a dying battery include dim headlights, long cranking times prior to starting the engine, and corrosion buildup around battery terminal posts. You can bring your vehicle to any of our convenient service center locations and have your battery tested. If it needs to be replaced, we carry an extensive selection of OEM replacement batteries at affordable prices.
Tip #5 – Regularly Change Your Oil
One of the easiest ways to keep your car running at peak performance is to have your oil changed on a regular basis. You’ll find the manufacturer-recommended oil change interval listed in the owner’s manual found on your glove compartment. Engine oil is responsible for protecting your engine from harmful friction and heat, both of which can cause serious damage. The good news is that oil changes are both quick and affordable insurance against potential breakdowns or major repairs. Typically in one hour or less, you’ll be able to get in and out and back on the road again!