Your first car purchase can be an exciting momentous milestone – but before hitting the open road for the first time there are 13 essential checks every new car owner should know about to ensure safety and efficiency for their new ride. In this blog post we provide guidance for these essential checks in order to maximize your new investment!
Note: Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase. Affiliate relationships include, but are not limited to Amazon Associates, Walmart.com, and Etsy.
Regularly Check Oil and Coolant Levels
Oil is essential in keeping your engine running smoothly, so it's crucial that it be checked and changed on an ongoing basis. Coolant helps prevent overheating of your engine, so ensure it is always topped up appropriately. Extra tip – Always perform oil checks when your car is cold for more accurate readings!
Keep a Close Eye on Your Brakes
As you become acquainted with driving a new car, pay close attention to how its brakes feel when using them. If they seem soft or unresponsive when applying them, take immediate steps with an expert mechanic if this is the case for you. An extra tip – get your brakes checked every 20,000 miles for maximum efficiency.
Verify That All Lights Are Operating Correctly
Headlights, brake lights, reverse lights and indicators are essential elements to safe driving in poor weather or during night driving conditions. A friend or family member can help ensure all lights are operating as intended – an extra tip!
Maintain the Exterior by Cleaning and Waxing Regularly
Give your new car the love it deserves by regularly washing and waxing it to keep its gleaming finish looking brand new. Not only will this protect against dirt and dust accumulation, it will also add a great new shine! For optimal results use car-specific products as these have been specifically created to be safe.
Replacement Windshield Wipers If Necessary
Windshield wipers should be updated every six months to ensure they can perform their task of clearing rain, snow and debris off of your windshield effectively. Extra tip – winter wiper blades may be more suited to colder climates so make sure that you have one ready when the temperature starts dropping!
Check Tire pressure regularly
Tire pressure plays a critical role in your vehicle's performance, so ensure it is checked and adjusted as required. An extra tip would be purchasing an affordable and user-friendly tire gauge to monitor this at home – they are both simple and quick!
Replace Your Air Filters Every 20,000 Miles
Your air filter should be changed every 20,000 miles (or more frequently if driving in dusty areas), to help keep dirt and debris out of your engine and protect its components from being damaged over time. Failing to replace this on a regular basis could result in irreparable engine damage over time.
Tune Ups Have Your Car Tuned Regularly
Schedule regular tune-ups on your vehicle to ensure everything is operating optimally and cost effectively. In addition, many mechanics provide vehicle inspection services so they can identify any potential problems early and help save you from costly repairs later.
Maintain a Regular Inspection Schedule for Batteries
Check your battery for corrosion or damage, tighten connections properly, and ensure they remain clean. Lead-acid batteries need to be filled up regularly with distilled water – so keep an eye out on that as well!
Checking Fluids on a Regular Basis
Make sure you conduct regular inspections of all fluids in your car (oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid and coolant) to ensure optimal levels of all essential elements like oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid and coolant are met. Extra tip – use paper towels or rags when testing any fluids to avoid getting any on yourself when checking! Also remember to test transmission fluid every 30,000 miles for optimal functioning!
Insurance and Registration.
Never neglect keeping your insurance and registration up-to-date; most states require this of you annually, though please check with the DMV in your area for specific regulations. Car insurance coverage is also an integral component of car ownership – make sure that you have enough coverage in case any law enforcement officials stop you; additionally keep registration paperwork handy just in case!
Checking Your Exhaust System
A car's exhaust system is crucial to reducing emissions, so ensure any problems with it are promptly taken care of if there are any. This includes loose pipes or parts, rust or corrosion build up, missing bolts or nuts – any of these should be addressed immediately to keep emissions under control and performance optimal. Don't forget about checking its catalytic converter too as this can significantly decrease overall vehicle performance over time.
Rear Tire Rotate Your Tires Every Six Months
Tire rotation helps even out wear on each tire and prolong their lifespan while keeping them in good condition. An added tip – have wheel alignment performed at the same time for enhanced performance and handling capabilities, and remember to check tire pressure at least every month!
Car ownership can be an immense responsibility, but if you take care in maintaining it properly it should last you many years. Make sure to follow all of the maintenance tips above so you can rest easy knowing your car will continue looking great even as the miles pile up!
This is a contributed post.
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