Many women assign their car care jobs to other people, whether it’s a service tech or their significant other. This piece highlights why it may be harmful not to have a fundamental comprehension of how your automobile works.
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5 Things Every Woman Must Know About Cars
You have zero bars on your mobile phone and not a soul in sight. What should you do?
- Wait for someone to come along and pray they aren’t a serial killer?
- Walk back a couple of miles expecting to pick up mobile service?
- Hope that was a home you saw a couple of moments before your tire went flat?
Knowing what to do in the event of a car emergency can mean the difference between getting back on the road fast and not getting back on the road in any respect.
As recently as ten years ago “shop class” was a regular fixture at high schools. But with the complexities of the newer, computerized engines and the decrease of vocational education in the public schools, the notion that the ordinary person, woman or man, can fix their own car grows more and more distant.
In spite of this trend however of taking our car to the mechanic for everything from oil changes to installing new wiper blades, there are five important things every girl ought to know about their car. Although you might not have a flat tire, having a working understanding of your vehicle and what do to if the check engine light comes on can save you both time and money in the event of an automobile emergency.
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1. Know how to change a tire
Flat tires are the primary cause of automobile emergencies. Whether or not a blowout at 70 mph on the freeway or a slow leak due to a nail embedded in the rubber, a flat tire will derail your trip faster than you can say, “what happened?”
The key to changing your tire is to get the correct equipment. Most of all, keep your spare tire properly inflated and know where to locate the lug wrench and jack. In cars with trunks, these tools are often found there. Many vehicles have a hidden compartment in the trunk or cargo area in which the spare, the jack and the tire iron are neatly stored without taking up valuable cargo area.
You must always loosen the lug nuts on your tire before you lift the car with the jack. It’ll be much easier to apply force to the nut while the vehicle is planted firmly on the ground. Keep in mind the saying’lefty loosey, righty tighty.” Turn the nuts to the left to loosen them and to the right to tighten them up.
Here is a hint: this principle applies to just about anything you’re trying to loosen or tighten. In case your car has a hub cap that hides the lug nuts, then keep a flathead screwdriver in your cargo area too. Practice with the screwdriver to remove the hub cap so if you ever have to change your tire, you aren’t struggling to get the lug nuts.
Locate where to put the jack so as to correctly lift the car. Your owner’s manual should have a description of this procedure and an illustration. Putting the jack in the right place makes all the difference when you start to lift. Follow the instructions in your manual and you’ll be amazed at how easily you are able to raise the car to the ideal height.
After you’ve removed the damaged tire and put on the spare, tighten the lug nuts as much as possible with your hands and give them a little turn with the tire iron. Follow a star pattern when tightening lug nuts rather than going around the tire in a circle. This can help balance the tire and prevent one side from being over-tightened.
After you’ve secured the tire, lower the car gradually to the ground. Once down, use the tire iron to tighten the nuts as much as possible. Return your flat tire, jack, iron and some other tools you used to their proper storage area and now you are on your way.
If your spare tire is bigger than your other 3 tires and only meant to be applied as an emergency spare, it’s vital that you follow the instructions in your manual and just drive at moderate speeds till you have the full-size tire repaired and put back on your vehicle. In the event that you had difficulty fully tightening your lug nuts, then locate the nearest service station or auto repair shop and ask someone to check to be certain they’re completely tightened.
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2. Know how the read gauges on your dash and the owner’s manual
The second most frequent automobile crisis is a warning light on your dash. Examples of warning lights would be the Check Engine light, Oil lighting, ABS brake light, or Airbag light. A sudden illumination of one or more one of these lights can indicate a significant problem is happening and you ought to have your car checked as soon as possible.
However with the contemporary computers in vehicles now sometimes the lights come on with no serious underlying problem. At times the lights come on because of a faulty switch in the dashboard or a circuit which is not properly functioning.
The main thing to consider with warning lights is they are your car’s way of speaking to you and you’ve got to have the ability to comprehend what it’s saying. Review the section of your owners manual on troubleshooting.
Familiarize yourself with what the various warning lights look like when they’re illuminated. Know when the ABS light comes on you may have to have your brake fluid assessed. Know when the Airbag light comes on you might be driving with the danger your airbag may not deploy in the event of an accident. Have it checked by the correct technician when possible.
By knowing what your dashboard gauges mean and how to translate them using the operator’s manual you can catch problems before they become serious, saving yourself money and possible lost time in the procedure.
3. Know how to check the oil and radiator fluid
Keeping your motor running smoothly is often as easy as making sure it’s enough oil and radiator fluid. Automobile engines consist of lots of little components. These components move interchangeably against each other thousands of times every minute and build up friction. Motor oil, for instance, helps keep engine components lubricated and functioning correctly.
Like any machine, a car engine gets warm through the continuous moving of its many components. Radiator fluid cools down the engine so that it does not overheat, enabling it to keep working even on the hottest days. Discover where the dip sticks are for both motor oil and engine coolant. In most cars, they are yellowish in color and marked with an image of either a drop of oil or some type of liquid.
Using your owner’s manual, determine the appropriate amounts for both fluids.
Check your fluids once per month
In warmer weather, you might have to check it twice a month. Always have a minimal quantity of engine oil or radiator fluid available in your garage if your levels are low and you will need to add some. Although it’s normal to get rid of some fluid occasionally between oil changes should you end up needing to include oil or engine coolant regularly to your car you should get it checked by a technician as soon as possible. This can be an indication of a more severe problem and having it repaired quickly will prevent additional damage to your automobile’s engine.
4. Know how to jump the battery
Ever leave your dome light on unintentionally? If so you’ve probably undergone a dead battery and have had to jump start your vehicle. Jumping your battery requires jumper cables and another car to start your car’s engine.
The key to jumping your car is to be aware that there’s both a positive and negative cable that corresponds to the positive and negative posts on your battery. The posts are usually coated with a cap however as soon as you remove the cap, the terminals are indicated with a + sign or a – signal. The wires will be marked too. With both engines off, clamp the positive cable to the positive post and the negative cable to the negative post. Do this to both cars.
Start the engine of the other vehicle. Wait a moment or two to permit the charge in the running engine to flow through the wires in your battery and then attempt to start your vehicle. If it does not turn over at all, wait for another second or two and then try again. If it begins to crank over, wait a couple of seconds and try again.
As soon as your car starts you can disconnect the wires and close the hood. Allowing your motor to run for around half an hour, or driving to your destination, will recharge your battery and you should not have trouble starting it. But if you find yourself stranded more than once and can’t find evidence of what drains on your battery’s power, have your battery checked by a technician. It might have to be replaced.
Don’t have a set of jumper cables?
For around $30-$50 you can buy a fantastic set that store conveniently in your back or alongside your spare tire. Even if you never need to use them, you’re certain to save the day for one of your friends or acquaintances.
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5. Change the wiper blades
Based on the region you reside in, having correctly working windshield wipers can be critical to safe driving. Getting caught in the season’s first rainstorm with delicate or dry wiper blades can happen to anybody. Understanding how to modify your wiper blades, however, can g you back on the street.
Wiper Blade Size
Determine what size blade you need and keep an extra set on hand at home. The packaging will also tell you how you can remove the wiper blades and replace them. Some wiper blades simply snap on and off, blade and wiper all in one unit. Others will need to be threaded throughout the length of the blade and are more tedious.
Just because your vehicle calls out a specific type of wiper blade does not indicate that your car won’t work using another one. If your vehicle has a wiper blade that’s difficult to change, ask at the auto parts store if there are compatible versions. Often the customer support technicians there are in a position to assist you in finding something that works just as well as the original equipment option.
Whether your vehicle is five days or five years old, spending time getting to know the intricacies of the operator’s manual, practicing some simple maintenance methods, and buying a few basic tools and supplies will keep you safer and your car on the street longer.