So, you’re stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire. Your auto club membership just expired and you can’t reach any of your friends. Although you have a spare in the back, you are clueless on what to do. Sound familiar?
This happens more often than it should, and women need to start taking accountability for those little “car emergencies” that can happen. In the long run, it will not only save time, but can save a few dollars as well.
Here are a few simple things to know:
- Oil levels
Did you know you could mess up your engine because you don’t have enough oil in it? As women, once we get that oil change, looking under the hood to make sure your oil levels are fine is like speaking Chinese. Even if you don’t drive your car a lot, it’s important to make checking your oil at least once a month as standard practice. The dipstick will indicate whether or not you need oil, and the condition of the oil. Pay attention to prolong the life of your engine.
- Changing your oil
You roll up to the dealer, or an oil change service center and your car is done in about 15 minutes. That’s seems easy enough, right? Changing your oil and oil filter isn’t as hard as you think. If you have the time, this could save you a lot of money.
- Tire pressure
Becoming one with your automobile is a must. Even if you don’t have a tire pressure indicator in your car, you should be able to look at your tires and determine whether or not they are low. You can also feel when something is wrong. Your automobile will start to feel off-balanced. Most gas stations have the air pumps that will tell you whether or not your tire is going low. Inside the door on the driver’s side, there should be a sticker that indicates what level your tire pressure should be. Don’t exceed that number, or you could damage your tire.
- How to change a flat
Knowing how to change a flat tire is no longer a perk – it’s a necessity. Things happen on the road every day, and being prepared gives you an advantage. Changing your own tire can also make the difference between waiting four or five hours, or getting back on the road in one. It’s time to learn how to use the jack, knowing how to take the lug nuts (the screws holding the tire) off, and getting everything back in place.
- Air filters
Whenever your oil is changed, you should also change the air filter. It’s really simple. You just need to find where it’s located, purchase one from your automotive store and replace.
These are the basics. It’s also a good idea to have an emergency car kit on hand. This should have a flashlight, batteries, and jumper cables at a minimum. An automotive course will go into more detail, and show you where your spark plugs are, how to change simple switches, fuses and more. Check with a trade school in your area that offers automotive courses. You’ll be really happy you did!