Vehicle Warranty Blog

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Driver safeLong-time drivers often forget what it is like to get behind the wheel for the first time. As a new driver, you may not know where to start when it comes to maintaining your car and ensuring it's safe to operate. Fortunately, by following a few key maintenance tips, you can help keep your car running smoothly — and safely.

Be Prepared to Change a Tire

Most cars come with a jack, lug wrench, and spare tire, so make sure you know where these items are and that they’re accessible. Regularly check the pressure on the spare, and fill it when it’s low. It may be helpful to practice changing a tire at home as well.

Keep Jumper Cables Handy

Even modern cars that automatically shut off lights and feature all sorts of warning chimes for power-draining accessories can still occasionally have a dead battery. You can use jumper cables — which you can connect to the negative and positive terminals on the battery — to revive a dead battery. Keep a set of these cables handy in your car.

Check Tire Pressure

When tire pressure drops too much, it can affect the handling and cause premature tire wear. Do a visual inspection to see if the tires look low, then try using a tire pressure gauge. If you can, purchase a 12V tire pump with a built-in gauge. That way, if the tire is low, you can refill it anywhere.

Replace Old Windshield Wipers

When wipers age, they can begin to crack and streak, not to mention become quite noisy. Since each car needs different wiper styles and lengths, take down the brand and any product numbers you can find on your current set of wipers. Make sure to replace them regularly.

Monitor the Coolant Level

It’s easy to miss the early signs of an overheating engine. But once an engine does overheat, it can suffer catastrophic damage or even catch fire. Staying aware of your coolant level is essential. Verify that you know where your coolant reservoir is and which type of coolant your car needs so that you can keep it filled.

Check the Oil

Oil protects moving, spinning parts from grinding and wearing against each other. Check the oil regularly with a dipstick. If the oil is dirty or dark, there’s smoke coming from the exhaust, or the interior of the car smells like oil, it’s time to change it.

Maintenance Means Safety

Getting behind the wheel for the first time can be an exciting experience. By taking on some basic maintenance, you can enjoy the freedom that comes with driving without sacrificing your safety.

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