Whether you got your license right on your 16th birthday or you learned to drive later in life, safety is at the top of all new drivers' minds. While you'll surely be careful to follow the speed limit and be aware of your surroundings while driving, vehicle maintenance is an equally important part of being a safe and responsible driver. Unfortunately, driving schools and DMV tests often don't cover these essential skills. To help you be safe on the road, Metro Motor is here with some simple yet important tips about car maintenance for new drivers!
Check Out the Owner's Manual
Reading the owner's manual of your vehicle might seem like an unnecessary, boring undertaking. For this reason, many new drivers may feel like it's fine to skip it. However, the owner's manual contains some very important information about your vehicle and the regular maintenance it needs to continue to run safely. While you might not need to read every word, you should at the very least take note of key information such as the correct tire pressure for your vehicle. Also turn to the maintenance schedules to determine how often routine procedures like oil changes, brake pad replacement, and tire rotation are called for. That way, you'll know when it's time to contact a mechanic for the routine maintenance that you can't perform on your own.
Check Your Tires
One of the most important — and easiest — things you can do to make sure your vehicle is running safely is to check your tires regularly. Making sure that the tires are properly inflated greatly reduces the chances of a dangerous or costly blowout. Adding air to your tires when they are low is something that you can easily do on your own. Just make sure you know the correct tire pressure before you head to a gas station or other location where you can inflate the tires. Ideally, this location will be close to your home, as it's best to add air when the tires are "cold," or have been driven less than one mile.
Change the Oil and Check Other Fluids
Regular oil changes are a key aspect of vehicle maintenance. Dirty oil can prevent your engine from running at its best, and even cause damage over time. Make sure you follow the recommendations in the owner's manual to make sure that you're treating your engine well. There are many other fluids in your vehicle that are also important for the operation of your vehicle. When you change the oil, take the time to check the levels of brake and transmission fluids, coolant, and washer fluid. That way, you can take care of all of these important maintenance items at once.
Keep an Eye on the Dash
New drivers might be tempted to stay completely focused on the road, without even glancing at the various gauges on the dashboard of your vehicle. However, this information can be just as important to your safety as paying attention to the highway. It's very important not to let the gas gauge hit "E," and if a warning light such as "check engine" comes on, you should pull over as soon as you can and seek professional service.
While there are many things you can do as a new driver at home and while driving to protect the safety of yourself and everyone else on the road, it is also important to get regular preventative maintenance from a professional. At Metro Motor, we are committed to helping you understand your vehicle's needs and providing you with the safest possible driving experience. If you have any questions about what you can do as a new driver to keep your vehicle safe, don't hesitate to contact us today.
Vehicle care information made available by Metro Motor is presented as helpful advice for general maintenance and should not be construed as instructions for at-home vehicle service. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual and a licensed, professional mechanic for diagnostics and repair.