Important Things Every Vehicle Owner Should Consider

March 27, 2024

Cars, motorbikes, pick-up trucks, and every other type of vehicle. Most of us have them, need them, and use them daily, all over the world. It is logical then, that there are many things we should be aware of about our vehicles, to varying degrees of course. Especially considering the amount of money we spend on vehicle payments, maintenance, repairs, and the like, you would think that we would have a better relationship with our cars. Of course, trying to understand everything at once is impossible anyway, and can get quickly overwhelming. All the fluids, parts, guidelines you should follow, things that can and do sometimes go wrong—it can all be intimidating. But they do not have to be. Knowing a few basics can not only help boost your confidence and know-how but also help your vehicle run better.

Know Year, Make, Model

The first thing you should know about your vehicle, naturally, is the year it was manufactured, the make of your vehicle, and the specific model. This seems like an absolute no-brainer, and yes, it is, but you would not believe how many people have zero idea what they are even driving. They can be mistaken on the year of their car or its make and model, which can lead to pretty substantial problems down the line. So, the proper aid and assistance at CarMax MaxCare will fix your problems and can also help you avoid making the same mistakes again in the future. Parts, fluids, and accessories to repair and maintain your vehicle are all based on this information, so it is critical for you to know, especially with how fast everything progresses and how the construction, design, and models of cars can vary significantly from year to year.

Familiarize Yourself with the VIN

Your VIN, or Vehicle Identification Number, basically is your car’s fingerprint, a 17-digit code that identifies your car’s date of manufacture, place, make, engine size, model, and other info. This VIN stays with your car throughout its “life”, so you need to know where to find this code, but there is no need for you to memorize it. The most accessible method of finding it is standing outside the car on the driver’s side and looking for the VIN at the corner of the dashboard where it meets the windshield. You will need it when talking to mechanics, or insurance companies which use the VIN when issuing car insurance policies. It can also be useful when you want to look up information if you want to buy a car or purchase parts for it. So, find the VIN.

Tire Pressure

Proper tire pressure is important and may be the most commonly ignored maintenance concern when it comes to cars. Many people tend to just dismiss the warning light when it turns on, or delay checking the tires because they do not want to take the time. Do not be one of those people. Not addressing low-tire pressure in time can decrease their lifetime, and require you to buy new ones sooner than you otherwise might have had to. Yes, tires are expensive, but some can hold you over for more than 50,000 miles if you take care of them like you should. But also, you do not want to ever overfill your tires either, just try and maintain that sweet balance.

Don’t Ignore Warning Lights

Those warning lights on the dashboard? Don’t ignore them. Those blinking little lights are a window into your car’s health. As they vary among car manufacturers, be sure to check your owner’s manual to find out what each one means. That said, manuals may not always state how important or unimportant certain lights may be, so to give you a leg up, you can separate the dashboard lights into three categories. Red means you should get help right now, and it can even be related to passenger safety, so yes, go get that looked at. Yellow means you should have this checked out as soon as possible. Blue or green lights are just there for informational purposes, so no action on your part is needed.

Spare Tire

Tires go flat sometimes, and though it can be frustrating, as long as you have your spare tire at the ready, you will be fine. Now what would be incredibly maddening would be if your tire is flat, you head to where your spare tire is located, and it happens to be flat too. No one wants that to happen. So before you are about to embark on a longer journey, make sure your spare tire is in place, has the right pressure, is inflated, and that you have all the equipment you need to change a flat tire at hand. Of course, actually knowing how to change a flat tire might also prove helpful. Luckily, the internet exists, and you are one YouTube video away from knowing how.

Maintenance Schedule

A good way to make sure your car keeps running smoothly is to stick to your vehicle’s maintenance schedule, which will inform you about things like when you should have your oil changed when to check the fluids, and when your tires should be rotated. Every car has its own maintenance schedule that you should follow to maintain optimal performance, health, and longevity of your vehicle. You can find the schedule in your owner’s manual or as an accompanying booklet. Make sure you read it and strictly follow its recommendations.

Being aware of the basics concerning your vehicle can help with not only how you treat and maintain it, but also help you avoid needless headaches and issues you would have run into if you had no idea what you were doing. It also gives enough material to talk to mechanics and help them identify the issues, saving them and yourself time and even money. There is always more you can learn, especially in the giant and expanding world of vehicles, but this is a good start to get you on your feet.