Every girl needs to know a little bit about cards. I am honestly only just now realizing that. The year I lived in Detroit, I didn't have a car, I just used the Better Half's. Now I do have one … and something is always going wrong with it! I've also finally realized what a hassle it is to wait for my parents to visit once it's broken down, so my dad can do something about it. I am on a mission to learn small car repairs! And during the course of that mission, I've discovered 7 kinds of car maintenance every girl should know.
1. Checking Tire Pressure
You know, sometimes your tires get a little low. Sometimes that's okay. Sometimes, it's not. Sometimes, in fact, it might point to big trouble – you might need a new tire, or you might need to add a little air into your existing one. For this one, you may need to buy a little pressure gauge – then you're going to have to learn how to deal with the valve system on the tire without getting freaked out because it's hissing. Yes, I did this once.
2. Changing Tires
I know my dad taught me this once. I know he did. Like, firsthand, up close and personally, so I would know what was what. And I'm positive I learned about it in my mandatory driver's ed class in high school – but we only read about the steps, we didn't actually do them. My knowledge of how to do this thus got lost in the sands of time, but I need to learn again. It's easier than waiting on AAA, or relying on the kindness of the strangers speeding by you on the highway.
3. Changing Spark Plugs
I've never had to change a spark plug, but it happens. They pop out and need switched out, or simply tightened. It's a simple job once you know what you're looking for and what to do when you find it, and so it's worth figuring it out before you ever have to get to this point.
4. Jump Starting
Everybody needs to know how to jump start a car, girl or guy – and I know plenty of guys who have no clue. The key is knowing which cable goes where, so you don't fry your entire car – or, you know, yourself! But once you get that down, it's a piece of cake.
5. Changing Air Filters
Some things you need to learn how to do just because they're relatively easy, and doing them yourself will save you some money. This is one of those. Yeah, okay, it doesn't cost a lot to get it done at a shop, but it costs enough, you know? Why bother, if you know how to do it yourself?
6. Changing Fuses
Sometimes a blown fuse is all that's wrong with your car. These are relatively easy to fix, as long as you know what goes where. I regret that I had an awful stereotype-moment recently, and had to call my dad to ask him what, exactly, my radiator was supposed to look like. Well, we all have our moments...
7. Checking/Changing Oil
This is on par with #5. Checking your oil is incredibly easy, so I would wager a guess that most everyone knows how to do that. Changing your oil is involved, but not at all hard, and learning to do it yourself can save you time and money both. Plus you get to hang out under a car.
I'll admit, I still have to learn how to do several of these things. But I am proud of myself for learning, even relatively late in my driving career. Does anyone have any other tips on car maintenance?
Top Photo Credit: Laurynwithay