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Car Tips

5 Things A First-Time Car Owner Needs to Know

It’s never a good idea to ignore something that isn’t right with your car. No matter what it is, putting it off for later usually results in needing to repair something much worse. But did you know that applies to things like oil changes, too? Don’t put off getting an oil change in Ann Arbor, or else you could be paying the price down the road. Here are 5 things all first-time car owners need to know about keeping their car running properly.

Check and Maintain All Your Vehicle’s Fluids

Getting a regular oil change in Ann Arbor isn’t the only thing you need to do in order to make sure your car is functioning correctly. There are other things you need to check and maintain in your car as well. Some fluids that need to be maintained regularly in your vehicle are:

  •     Engine Oil
  •     Coolant
  •     Power Steering Fluid
  •     Brake Fluid
  •     Windshield Wiper Fluid

Coolant is essential for your engine’s health. It absorbs the heat given off from the engine and circulates it back to the radiator. Coolant not only prevents your engine from overheating, but also from freezing in cold weather.

Power steering fluid is basically a hydraulic fluid that helps control the steering and makes it easier to handle, while brake fluid on the other hand is still a hydraulic fluid but one that controls your brake pads and makes it easier to stop. Windshield wiper fluid is the most basic of all the fluids, but arguably the most important. You use it every day and need it to get through bad weather.

Don’t Miss Getting an Oil Change in Ann Arbor

Did you know that ignoring changing your oil can have a catastrophic impact on your car? When you go longer than the recommended time between oil changes, your oil transforms from a clear liquid to a thick sludge that clogs your engine. When your engine is mucked up with this sludge, it doesn’t run properly and will eventually result in a ton of expensive damages.

There are three major things that can happen to your car when you don’t change the oil — warped engine components, blown head gasket, or total engine failure.

Since the heat fails to circulate properly and there is no lubrication in your engine, the parts will begin to grind against each other and the friction will cause components to warp and fail quickly. A blown gasket is more than just an expression for losing your temper. It’s also a costly repair that can be so expensive you are better off replacing the engine entirely. Eventually, a combination of these two issues will result in complete engine failure.

Not only does it have implications for how your car runs, but it also impacts your car’s warranty. Some cars, especially when purchased new, will require you to meet manufacturer standards for upkeep. Failing to do so can result in your warranty being voided — just because you didn’t keep up with regular oil changes.

Keep Your Tires Inflated

One of the most dangerous things you can do in a car is drive on flat tires. At low speeds and short distances, it isn’t entirely dangerous, but it can be catastrophic on the highway. Your tires are designed to operate at a certain pressure based on how heavy your car is. If you don’t keep them properly inflated, you could pop a tire at any moment or damage the rims of your car.

Popped tires cause hundreds of accidents everyday, resulting in everything from minor inconveniences to severe accidents. Depending on how fast you are driving, the chances of causing a serious car accident are pretty high if you are going over 40 mph. But driving at slow speeds does not save your car from damage, either.

Over time, driving on a flat tire will result in bent or cracked rims. This is an expensive repair, especially considering it could’ve been avoided by monitoring your tire pressure better. Most modern cars come equipped with sensors that take care of monitoring everything for you, but if you have an older car, you can check the PSI at most gas stations and fill it up then and there.

oil change in Ann Arbor

Your Spare Tire Matters

For the moments when something happens to one of your tires, you need to have a spare.

Spare tires aren’t your normal tires. Tires you buy from a mechanic are designed to last a long time, whereas spare tires are only meant to last you until you can get to the closest mechanic or at least back home. That is why you can’t just slap a spare tire on and then think you’re good to go for the foreseeable future.

Like an emergency fund you keep in your sock drawer, a spare tire is truly meant for emergencies and is not something you can live on for very long. When you use a spare tire, replace it with a real tire and restock a new spare so you have one when you need it.

Windshield Wipers Routinely Need Replacement

One thing that tends to be overlooked, especially by first-time or new car owners, is replacing your windshield wipers. If you can’t see the road, you won’t be able to effectively or safely drive. Wipers are essential to everyone in all climates, not just snowy ones. You might think you can tough it out with bad wipers, but all you are doing is handicapping yourself and risking worse damage.

Next time you are getting an oil change in Ann Arbor, ask your mechanic to check your wipers and see if they need to be replaced. It is penny cheap and pound foolish to drive around with old or faulty windshield wipers. You should typically replace them every six months, but that might vary depending on their manufacturer.

Looking for the Best Oil Change in Ann Arbor?

When you need an oil change in Ann Arbor, look no further than Louie & John’s Complete Auto Service. We are here to make sure your car is running properly and safely. If you are looking for a complete auto service experience, contact us today.