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Car tips & advice | 27.03.2014 - 16:39

Under The Hood: 5 Skills Every Car Owner Should Have

If you are driving around without these skills then you are putting yourself and everyone your driving in danger. Become familiar with these skills as they will be of great help to you in your time of need.

The mechanical skills of some car owners do not extend beyond the ability to put gas into their tank and this is a travesty! Although there is nothing wrong with taking your vehicle to the repair shop, there are some things that you should learn to do on your own as it can save you money and keep you safe on the road. Here are five skills that every car owner should become familiar with.


Changing a Deflated Tire
Imagine being stranded on a deserted highway due to a flat tire. If you do not know how to install the spare tire, it could be several hours before help arrives if at all. Changing the tire only involves two tools: a lug wrench and a jack. The most important aspect of changing a tire is to make sure that the jack remains stable as you can hurt your car and self very easily by not doing this correctly.


Replacing the Air Filter
After thousands of miles of filtering dirty air, an air filter will eventually need to be replaced. In most instances, a screwdriver is the only tool that is needed to change the air filter but most auto shops will try to do it for you. If you choose to have this simple task performed at the dealership, do not be surprised if the bill exceeds $50. This is an easily avoided charge that can be done in minutes by the driver.


Jump-starting a vehicle
If you accidentally leave your lights on for an extended period of time, a dead battery will likely be the outcome. Every car owner should keep a quality set of jumper cables in the trunk area and know how to use them safely. When using the jumper cables, always remember that black means negative and red means positive. Placing the jumper cables on the incorrect battery terminals can cause major damage to the alternator, battery and in extreme cases yourself.


Checking the Motor Oil
Even if you do not know how to change the oil, you should still know how to check the oil level. A low oil level can render the engine useless in a matter of days. Some people make the mistake of checking the oil while the engine is running. To obtain an accurate reading on the dipstick, always check the oil before starting the engine. Remember to avoid overfilling the crankcase when adding oil.


Maintaining the Proper Tire Pressure
The tire pressure has a direct impact on the driving dynamics of a car. To ensure good gas mileage and optimum on-road safety, routinely check the pressure with a tire pressure gauge. The tire pressure increases after driving a vehicle, so always check the pressure while the tires are cold. Getting help with you tire maintenance is a smart idea and the professionals at Accurate Tire & Auto Care Inc in Burlington can help keep you on the road


Everyone is surrounded by cars and learning these five skills will most certainly come in handy as well as help you have more confidence on the road. Remember to always buckle up and drive safe!

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Driver: Meghan
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. Meghan also enjoys researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.
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