Car care and maintenance is often regarded as something “the men should take care of.” This is bogus. Female car owners must know the basics of vehicle maintenance – otherwise, they may find themselves at the mercy of an unscrupulous mechanics…no one wants to buy service or maintenance they don’t need.
Here are four care care and maintenance tips that every car-owning woman should know:
1. Keep an eye on your tires
Tires are probably the most important piece of safety equipment on the modern vehicle. If they’re in good shape, your car can stop quickly and handle well enough to evade an accident. If, on the other hand, your tires are in bad shape, any number of bad things can happen. Therefore, keep an eye on your tires by:
- Regularly checking tire pressure. On most cars, you need 32-35 psi of pressure in each tire (check your owner’s manual to be sure). You can measure your tire pressure using an inexpensive gauge available at any auto parts store.
- Rotate your tires every 8,000 miles or so. Rotation is the best way to make your tires last as long as possible.
- If someone recommends that you replace your tires, get a second opinion (and a few quotes) before buying something. There are more than a few stories of unscrupulous shops selling people tires they don’t need.
2. Get regular oil changes
Most owners’ manuals recommend oil changes ever 5,000 miles, with some newer vehicles being able to go 7,500 or 10,000 miles between changes. Oil is the life blood of your car’s engine and is the key to making your car function as long as possible. Therefore, never ever every forget an oil change. Forgetting just one oil change could cause your engine to suffer major damage.
3. Don’t buy expensive service packages
Auto dealers are notorious for offering “service packages” that include a laundry list of maintenance. While these packages can be a good deal, they’re often recommended more often than they’re needed.
Instead of buying a package, crack open your owner’s manual or vehicle service guide and look at the manufacturer’s recommendations. You may be surprised to learn that your local dealership or repair shop recommends maintenance more than twice as often as the manufacturer.
4. Beware of inexpensive inspections
If your local auto dealer or repair shop offers to do a “winter inspection” or “A/C inspection” for only $19.99, be suspicious. Inspections fall into two categories – easy and hard. An easy inspection is often done at no charge, as the possibility of finding a problem (and selling service to fix that problem) is enough to justify the time required. Hard inspections are never done cheaply – they usually cost at least one hour of labor or the minimum diagnostic fee.
Share any easy care care tips in the comment section below! Our readers will appreciate it.
Author Jason Lancaster worked in auto dealerships for nearly 10 years and knows the auto industry well. He’s also the founder and editor of Tacomahq.com, a website for Toyota Tacoma owners and enthusiasts with lots of information about the Tacoma, including a comprehensive guide to Tacoma lift kits.