Road Ready

icon-roadicon-theresanapp-tnHere are few tips you may find useful. Of course, the best person to take care of your car is a trained and skilled mechanic. And always follow your vehicle’s owner’s manual for complete instructions regarding repairs and maintenance. Exercise extreme caution and always perform any necessary repairs in a safe manner. You may want to invest in roadside assistance such as AAA, just in case.

Ready for the Road

  • Check your car fluids including oil, anti-freeze/coolant, and wiper fluid.
  • Check your tire pressure, especially the spare.
  • Change your oil.
  • Check the spark plugs.
  • Make sure all your engine belts are in good working order.

icon-wrenchChanging Tires

  • Take off the hubcap.
  • Loosen all the lug nuts with a lug wrench. Don’t remove them yet.
  • Place the car jack underneath the vehicle’s axle. Raise the car until it is just off the ground. IMPORTANT: check your owner’s manual to find the right spot to place the jack to avoid damaging the car or hurting yourself.
  • Remove the lug nuts completely and pull off the flat tire.
  • Place the spare tire onto the lug bolts.
  • Tight lug nuts by hand until they are tight.
  • Lower the car and remove the jack.
  • Tighten the lug bolts with the lug wrench.
  • Replace the spare tire with a new one as soon as possible.

Jump-Starts

  • Turn off both cars.
  • Make sure your battery isn’t cracked. If it is, do not try to jump-start it.
  • Clean off any corrosion with a wire brush. Wear gloves if possible.
  • Make sure the cars are not touching.
  • Attach one end of the cable to the dead battery’s positive (+) terminal. Attach the other end of the same cable to the positive (+) terminal of the live battery.
  • Attach one end of the other cable to the dead battery’s negative (-) terminal of the live battery. Attach the other end of that cable to the engine block or frame of the dead car. (Don’t attach the cable to the negative terminal.)
  • Make sure no one is touching the cars.
  • Start the car with the live battery.
  • State the car with the dead battery.
  • Disconnect the cables in the reverse order you attached them.

How to Fill Your Anti-Freeze/Coolant

  • Turn the engine off.
  • Open the hood and locate the coolant reservoir. It is a plastic container with a hose leading to the radiator.
  • Never open the radiator, especially when the engine is hot.
  • Open the cap. If the coolant level is below 3/4 full, fill it to the “Full” line, or to the top.
  • Close the cap tightly.

How to Fill Your Windshield Wiper Fluid

  • Turn the engine off.
  • Open the hood and find the wiper fluid reservoir. It is usually a plastic container with blue fluid in it with a hose leading toward the windshield. Be sure not to confuse it with the coolant reservoir!
  • Open the cap. If it’s less than 3/4 full, fill it to the “Full” line, or to the top.
  • Replace the cap and tighten.

Taking Care of Your New Car

  • Avoid hard or frequent stops.
  • Try to drive your car conservatively to give new parts a chance to “wear in.”
  • Check your oil frequently.
  • Get a 5,000-mile tune-up being sure to change the spark plugs and the oil.
  • Check the car for unnecessary wear.

Maintenance

Check your owner’s manual for or car’s tune-up schedule, but it’s smart to tune your car every 30,000 miles. Rotate your tires and change your oil regularly. Keep an eye out for leaks, tire wear and any odd noises your engine makes. If you should notice anything out of the ordinary, take your car to a mechanic.