Firstly, it is important to know as many things about your car as possible. Cars today have become more of a necessity, with the amount of money we invest in car payments, maintenance and upgrading parts, we need to understand more how each engine component functions and the role it has.
This will not only help you build a better relationship with your car but, it might save you big money in repairing cost or getting ripped off by a doggy mechanic.
In this article, I will share with you the most common things you should know about your car.
1. Year, make and model
I know this might sound thoughtless, but it is important to know the exact year, make and model of your vehicle.
A vehicle model year is how a car is differentiated. It is important not to get confused between the year of purchase and the model year as they mean two different things. For example, a vehicle might be a 2018 model, but it was first purchased and registered in 2019 or 2020.
The make and model of your car is where you need to pay intention. Why? Because a car make and model might have different variants. Such as a Ford Focus Hatchback, Sedan or Wagon.
Additionally, the trim level of your vehicle can vary, from standard to performance and luxury.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Because it helps know the exact parts you need for your vehicle, the correct fluids (oil, anti-freeze, brake fluid etc.) How many times have you or your mechanic ordered parts for your car and they were not compatible? Exactly, it saves time and can save you labour costs.
2. Your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
Your vehicles VIN number is a 17 digits number that is given to any vehicle when it comes out of production. Usually, on newer cars the VIN number is located on the car’s windscreen, at the bottom, ether left your right.
On older cars, it is simplest to look in your car documents to find it.
You are not required to learn the vehicles VIN number, but it plays a major role in identifying the vehicles make, model, year, engine size, engine power etc. You probably asking yourself by now “Why do I need to know the year, make and model if the VIN number states it all?’’
Well, both are important, the VIN number is usually given to mechanics to identify the exact make and model of your car, so no mistake is made when ordering a new part.
Also, the VIN number plays a major role in searching for a new car. By entering the VIN number on certain websites, you can find information about a car’s history. Such as mileage, accidents, if the car is on finance and more.
3. Maintenance schedules
If you wish to keep your vehicle from breaking down and running as it should. Its service times should not be neglected.
Each vehicle has its own service interval and the best way to check is the owner’s manual of your car. Additionally, if you do fewer miles or kilometres in one year then the owner’s manual states, you should still have a yearly service.
4. Tyre pressure
This is probably one of the most important regular maintenance and also the most ignored by almost every car owner.
Why is it so important?
Tyres can be expensive and not having the correct tyre pressure can damage your tyres
Fuel efficiency is important to all car owners I believe. The improper tyre pressure has an impact on the fuel economy of your vehicle and its handling. You can purchase a tyre pressure monitor or go to your local petrol station to check your correct pressure.
5. Check your engine oil and fluids
Checking your engine oil before or after a long drive is crucial. You will be surprised how many people do not check their engine oil.
Not enough engine oil in your car’s engine can cause significant damage. Even though a car should not consume oil or increase the amount of oil in the oil pan, you should still check the oil
The oil level should be between the maximum and minimum level on the dipstick.
If you experience consumption of oil, make sure your car does not produce blue fumes from the exhaust. If it does, consult with your mechanic as the problem could be complex.
On the other hand, if the engine oil increases, the first this to check is your coolant level. If that is fine, your injectors, turbo, and DPF filter might be your problem, especially on a diesel car.
Your engines fluids should also be checked alongside your oil. The coolant level, brake fluid and power steering fluid are also things that need to be checked
6. Battery voltage
What exactly is the role of the battery?
I think almost everyone knowns the answer. It provides electrical power in order for the engine starter to turn the engine over. But, this not all, a car battery will provide electricity to all electrical components in your vehicle, such dashboard gauges , lights etc.
The voltage a car battery produces is important, especially in the winter months. A car battery voltage tester can be purchased to know the health of your car battery. With a weak battery, the car will put more stress into parts which eventually will wear down.
Each electrical components has a voltage they run at, a weak battery will not put out enough voltage and can damage expensive parts.
Check your car battery by purchasing a voltage reader or ask you mechanic to do it for you.
It does not matter what car you drive and how old it is, if you take care of your pride and joy, it will take care of you.