Changing your oil is something you either know how to do or you have no idea at all. This is one of the easiest ways to gauge your car maintenance skills.
Learning car maintenance isn’t hard, and once you’ve done it a couple of times you’ll be able to maintain your car all by yourself.
Step 1: Recruit A Car Loving Friend
Rather than reading this article, try and grab one of your friends who knows everything about cars to walk you through basic car maintenance. It may cost you a few beers!
No friend available? Move onto step 2.
Step 2: Remember To Check The Oil Level
Checking your oil should be done once a month or so when the engine is cold. We are looking to make sure the oil is looking clean and isn’t too low on the dipstick. When you remove the dipstick, check the measure closely to see if there is enough. If the oil looks dirty or smells, it could be best to change it all.
Don’t put the new oil in the hole for the dipstick, look for the screw cap on nearby!
Step 3: Check all of your fluids
Coolant: Near the radiator you should find a clear plastic container. If it needs refilling (there’s a line), refill with a even mix of water and antifreeze.
Power Steering Fluid: This is near the firewall at the base of the windshield in a small tank and needs to be kept between the max and min levels.
Brake Fluid: Again, minimum and maximum lines help. If it needs to be refilled, be aware there could be a leak or your brake pads may need replacing.
Windshield Washer Fluid: This needs to be filled up regularly. We wouldn’t want a dirty windshield when the sun is glaring!
Step 4: Check Your Tire Pressure
Deflated tires are dangerous and tire pressure should always be checked if there has been a large fluctuation in temperatures, you driven long distances recently and/or lots of weight has been added to the vehicle (towing a boat for example).
With a tire pressure gauge (cheap) nearby and cold tires it’s time to get started.
Remove the caps from your tires, place the gauge into the valves and press quickly to get a reading.
Now it’s a simple checking of the tire pressure against the vehicles recommended PSI. If the reading is above, push the valve in too release air. Too low and you’ll need to air until you hit the recommended pressure.
Step 5: Check Your Tire Tread
This can be eyeballed at times, if your tires are bald it’s obviously time for new tires. But there is a thing called the tread bar indicator. There’s a few on your tire and if the bar is flush with your tread, it’s time to get some new tires shortly.
If you can be competent at everything above, you can be sure your car will be able to run to near its maximum potential every day and the likelihood of you stopping on the side of the road because of an embarrassing oversight is minimal.