10 Tips to Keep Your Car (And Yourself) Safe in the Winter

Written by Custom Wheels Direct. Posted in Home

automotive maintenance tips

Driving on the road takes skill. Winter approaches and some people find themselves at a loss. The weather can cause a lot of changes to your car and it sometimes causes issues to arise. Here are 10 automotive maintenance tips to keep your car safe in the winter so it will keep you safe on the road.

1. Keep your car warm

If you have a garage plan to use it during the winter. Clear out some space for your car to keep it warm. Keeping your car warm offers several benefits to both you and your car.

  1. It keeps your oil thin, allowing your car to have a more easy start when you are ready to drive.
  2. You can save yourself time by not having to scrape off any ice or snow.
  3. You save yourself a trip out in the cold.

Consider your garage for a second. It may be out of date, you need your door fixed, or you need a new garage. There are businesses that offer a garage door service. People will come out and fix your door, see if they can reduce any issues you have with it, or they can install a new one. It is best to have a garage to place your car in, so you will have the benefits listed above when winter comes.

Here is a bonus tip when it comes to garages. The type of flooring you have also matters when it comes to storing your car in the garage. Remember that your preowned SUVs or a new mustang should be on a specific type of flooring. This will help ensure that your tires last as long as possible.

automotive maintenance tips

The floor you see in auto sales dealerships tend to be different than the flooring in a home garage. There are contractors available to pave your garage floor or secure it with the necessary sealant. Asphalt paving contractors and concrete paving contractors offer a variety of options and pricing. Take your time when deciding which flooring you want your car to rest on.

No matter the flooring or garage you will thank yourself for putting your car in the garage during winter. It keeps your car safe and it keeps you safe when you drive it.

2. Have a good mechanic

This is one of the most important automotive maintenance tips. In the United States, around 693,700 care mechanics are actively helping car owners. Mechanics can solve problems the right way. They take care of your car so your car takes care of you. Mechanics offer a variety of services that are beneficial at any time of the year. They offer:

  1. Oil change or check oil fluid
  2. Brake repair
  3. Tire Rotations
  4. Engine Maintenance
  5. Car inspection
  6. Dent removal and more

Mechanics tend to get busy during the winter. This is due to so many issues that occur with cars during this time. Cars can stall. Accidents happen. Tire pressure tends to decrease with the cold weather. Mechanics can diagnose what is going on with your car and if it is in good shape or not. Usually, mechanics may recommend you checking in on your car with them every 5,000 miles or so. They can tell you if a car is fixable. They can also tell you if it is best to buy a new car which leads to one of the next automotive maintenance tips.

3. Keep gas in your car

The worst thing that could happen during winter is to run on empty. A general rule of thumb is to at least have a quarter of a tank of gas in your car. If you know you are going to be making a long trip, be sure to fill you up your tank. If you are not planning a long trip, have at least a quarter of gas in your car. In case of emergencies, you will want to have gas so your car will run to keep you warm during winter. Unplanned events happen. Be prepared in case that event happens to you. You will not have to get stalled or wait in the cold weather. A 24 hour towing company could take minutes to hours to arrive to assist you. Gas comes in handy when you least expect it.

4. New car — get coverage and a lawyer on speed dial

automotive maintenance tips

If you recently got a new car or are planning on getting one before or during winter, be sure to get coverage. Many automotive maintenance tips may not include this, but it is important to have. Coverage allows you to have the freedom to maintain your car and protect yourself. For instance, accidents happen on the road during winter due to black ice. When this happens, you will want to not step on the breaks, but many people do.

Collisions are more common than not during winter. This in turn allows an increase in demand for lawyers. Car accident lawyer, auto accident attorney, or a personal injury law firm tend to see an increase in need during this time. It is good to have a general recommendation or your own lawyer at your disposal.

Coverage protects you financially. It can protect you against things such as:

  • Car accidents
  • Weather damage
  • Theft
  • Animal damage
  • Other people

With coverage, you can protect yourself, your car, and you can also protect others. The type of car you have matters. If you have a truck, think about investing in a trucking accident lawyer. Trucks tend to get the short end of the stick when it comes to filing damage claims. The type of car you have matters in terms of coverage.

If you have no coverage and get into an accident, you could end up losing your car, money, and anything that was damaged or lost in your car. This is where having a lawyer on speed dial comes in handy. You will want someone who knows what to do and what to say. Lawyers will fight for you and your personal belongings if an accident occurs. Coverage and lawyers are key in having security. Doing these two things whether you have a new car or not, will be one less worry you have if an accident occurs.

Not only is a car accident lawyer and coverage needed during winter, they are both needed during any season of the year.

5. Upgrade windshield wipers

If you are in a city where it snows or rains every single day you know the importance of having good windshield wipers. The wipers clear your view. They give you a sense of direction. Windshield wipers do need to be replaced throughout the year. If you keep old windshield wipers, they can cause damage to your window. If you notice a squeaking or squealing sound when you turn them on, it may be time to replace them.

automotive maintenance tips

Generally speaking, windshield wipers can be bought at a variety of places. Some grocery stores will have them in the car section. You can go to an auto shop. You can also buy them at your dealership where you bought your car.

Windshield wipers are essential throughout the year. If broken replace it as soon as possible. They give your eyes clarity. They provide you with security. This is one of the fastest automotive maintenance tips to fix. These take less than five minutes to replace. Be sure you buy the right kind for your car.

6. Check the oil

If you do not keep your car in the garage, your oil may not thin out. Oil should be check within a certain mileage range. Mechanics can do this, but you can too. This is one other automotive maintenance tips that takes less than five minutes to do. Here’s how:

  1. Make sure your engine is off, and let your car cool down a bit.
  2. Pop the hood of your car.
  3. Stabilize the hood of your car.
  4. Find the dipstick. This usually has a yellow ring and is on top of your oil tank.
  5. Pull the dipstick out of the hole.
  6. Wipe it down all the way and put it back in the hole.
  7. Pull the dipstick out again and see where the oil falls on the dipstick.

You should be able to see if the oil level is low, full, or in between. If it is low, it is time to add or change your oil. If you are unsure of how to add oil or if it needs to change entirely, seek out help from a trustful mechanic. Oil is something you can check on month to month. Week to week. However often you would like as long as you are consistent with it.

7. Check your tire pressure

Tires are the feet of your car. They are what pushes you to your destination. Most cars now have a tire light. When this light turns on it is signaling to you that one or several of your tires is low or it needs to be changed.

With ice on the roads your car can come across black ice. Black ice is dangerous and can damage your tires and brakes if you skid on it. Ice is not the only thing that can damage your tires.

Temperature outside impacts your tires without you knowing. When the weather gets cooler, your tire pressure decreases. If you feel that you are sitting lower in your car, but have not moved your seat, check your tires. Keeping your tires in shape could prevent an accident from occurring.

If you are unsure if your tire pressure is decreasing, there are auto shops that offer courteous tire pressure checks. This takes around five minutes or less depending on how much air your tire needs. You can always pump air into your tires if you have a tire air pump.

automotive maintenance tips

Remember that these automotive maintenance tips for the winter are to get your car in shape for the roads you will travel. You want stable tires with good air pressure to keep your car running.

8. Get chains for your tires

Cities use safety measures for the road. If you live in a state where it tends to ice rather than snow a lot, roads may be sanded down. If you live in a state where it snows a lot, you may have noticed in the winter that cars have chains around their tires. These chains help their tires not accumulate a numerous amount of snow. Investing in chains something many overlook when it comes to automotive maintenance tips. Chains can be bought at a major grocery store, auto shop, or online. Make sure you get the chains that are going to best fit your car.

9. Have cables and check your battery

Jumper cables come in handy when you are stalled. Your battery may die on you unexpectedly. Ensuring you have a good battery and cables are automotive maintenance tips that should be placed on a high priority for you. If someone else stalls, you can help them jumpstart their battery if you have cables.

You can check your battery by taking it to an auto shop, or you can do it yourself with a voltmeter. Here’s how:

  1. Turn off your vehicle entirely–including lights.
  2. Connect the positive side of your battery with the positive side of the voltmeter.
  3. Repeat this with connecting the negative sides of your battery with the negative side of the voltmeter.
  4. Look at the reading on your voltmeter to see if your battery is good.
  5. Carefully disconnect each negative side first.
  6. Safely clean each terminal connection.

Generally, if you have a good battery the voltmeter will indicate this with anything above 12.4v volts. If it falls below that number, take your car into a trusted mechanic to get the battery looked at.

10. Invest in an ice scraper (and safety box)

Lastly, this is a simple tip compared to the previous automotive maintenance tips. Ice scrapers can be bought online, at auto shops, or in a variety of stores. You will not want to use your windshield wipers to scrape off ice. Preserve your wipers. Use an ice scraper instead.

If you do not keep your car in a garage, or if you are at work and it is snowing, the fastest way to get snow or ice off is with an ice-scraper. Use these without exerting too much force to protect your windows. This is a great tool to have.

Along with this, it is better to be safe than sorry. You will want to invest in a mini safety box consisting of a:

  1. Small first aid kit
  2. One or two water bottles
  3. Flashlight
  4. Towel
  5. Whistle

You can add more if you want, but these will come in handy. If you get stranded where there is no heavy traffic, a whistle could let people know where you are. A flashlight can be used when your fuses go out in your car or if you are stranded at night. The towel and water bottles keep you warm and hydrated. The first aid kit will have band-aids, ointment, and more to help any wounds you may have.

The ice scraper can also come in handy with the safety box to keep your windows clear for a view of cars that could help you when stranded.

automotive maintenance tips

These 10 automotive maintenance tips will help you in any season, especially in the winter. After all, taking care of your car will help ensure that you only need the help of a personal injury law firm in the result of an emergency. You won’t get into an accident because of your car’s quality. These automotive maintenance tips help you travel. They lead you. Keep yourself safe. Keep your car safe.

Essential Truck Maintenance Tips for Veteran Drivers

Written by Custom Wheels Direct. Posted in Home

If you are a person who just so happens to have been driving a truck that you own for many years, then you know that not every single one of the truck maintenance tips that you find are going to end up being useful for your purposes. But most people whether they are experienced truck drivers or not could probably benefit from making use of some of the top truck maintenance tips that are out there. After all, were you aware of the fact that 77% of people think owning a car is necessary? With so many people driving around it can’t hurt to at least take some time out to think about how you can get many more years out of your truck. This is why we have come up with this list to give you some of the top truck maintenance tips for veteran drivers. Let’s get right into it!

Keep Up with Trailer Maintenance

Whether you just so happen to have a standard small-scale trailer that you use from time to time, or if you happen to have larger cattle livestock trailers there is simply no denying the fact that not taking care of your trailers can have some harmful effects. A poorly maintained trailer is not only more prone to mechanical breakdowns, but it will also end up costing you much more as you will have to pay to replace parts far more often. When you take care of your trailer, on the other hand, you can get many more years out of it. On a similar note, the operations that you perform with your trailer will be easier to take care of.

When you are looking to have trailer maintenance performed for you, then it may be a good idea to go and find someone who specializes in a certain type of trailer. For example, if you are most interested in enclosed trailers, then finding someone who works on these alone will give you the best results. Finding the right person to get to work on your trailer is not always an easy thing to have to do, however, once you do find the right person, it is a good idea to build a relationship with them so that you know who you can trust the next time you happen to need trailer maintenance service performed on your truck trailer.

Buy Parts from Reputable Dealers

It is a similar type of truck maintenance tip for veteran buyers, but when you are ready to buy parts for your truck, it often pays to invest in a dealer who is going to be fair in their treatment of you. Sure, you can always make the choice to go ahead and roll the dice by simply walking up inside of any old auto parts store that you may happen to find. But this kind of approach is often known to only leave you with even more problems than you started out with in the first place.

A diesel fuel supplier may come with a whole different set of considerations than a parts store that is providing you with other kinds of parts. Still, anyone who is trying to follow some of the best truck maintenance tips would be wise to pay attention to each and every parts store that they happen to want to do business with. Even one wrong move can leave you with a busted budget and some bad parts that do not even perform the tasks that you need them to.

Before you end up choosing an auto parts store, it pays to go and do some research first. A research process may include you going out and asking your other friends with trucks just how much they value a certain parts store. They may be able to get you started off in the right direction. Plus if you are able to get a recommendation from a person that you know and trust, then this may carry more weight then getting one from another person.

If for any reason you are not able to find the right parts store by asking around, then you can try to go online and do some more research. By looking up some reviews from other customers, you can usually get a good idea of the kind of quality that an auto parts store has to offer. Of course, you can not take each and every review too seriously as sometimes they are coming from an unreliable source. Even still, by reading up on what other people have to say about a parts store you can usually get a good feel for whether or not they are someone you want to be doing your business with.

Finance Wisely

Of course your budget is an important part of being able to drive a truck for many years at a time. Without the right budget in place, you will find yourself simply firing shots in the dark. This will become especially clear if you just so happen to be buying a new or used truck. Financing is key in this regard. If you fail to take your finances into account here, you may end up paying a price that leaves you broke in an instant. Make sure that you work with a dealer who is both clear and transparent about the different prices that they have to offer their customers.

When it comes time to look at your truck financing options, it pays to be thorough in your research once again. Many truck dealers will offer nice prices on their signs to get people to walk into their lot. However, once you get there they may tell you about hidden fees and costs. Avoiding this kind of thing is pretty easy if you do your research and work with a dealer that you know you can trust with your hard-earned dollars.

When it comes to larger vehicles such as trucks and RVs, it is interesting to look at some of the numbers that are out there. As one small example, most people are completely unaware of the simple fact that as many as 10 million U.S. households own an RV. This quite an astounding number especially when you look at how many people driver other smaller vehicles to and from work. Even so, an RV is a great way to make vacations that much better. As with some of the best truck maintenance tips it pays to make sure that you are investing in an RV that is worth both your time and your money.

Invest in Insurance

Even cheap car insurance can be good if you have no other option. In most states, it is required for you to have some form of auto insurance before you go ahead and get behind the wheel of a car anyways. By investing in the right insurance you can be sure that you are secured and safe in the event of an accident that may occur with another driver or vehicle. Taking care to invest in the right insurance policy will often save you lots of time and money further down the line anyways.

Trust Experienced Mechanics

When it comes to time to have your truck repaired you probably do not want to trust just any mechanic that you happen to come across. Much in the same way that you would not trust your health in the hands of any old doctor, trusting any old truck repair expert can leave you with lots of problems that you would rather not have to deal with. When you work with an experienced mechanic on the other hand, you can often trust that they are taking care of the best truck maintenance tips that are out there when they are working on your precious truck.

After all, did you happen to be aware of the fact that there are an estimated 639,700 car mechanics in the United States? With so many mechanics available to you out there, there is really not much of an excuse for you to settle with one that does not match up to each and every one of your needs, no matter how big or little they may even happen to be.

Keep a Closer Eye on Used Trucks

If you are looking to get a truck, it never hurts to keep your eye out on used car dealers. Many times they are offering great deals that can save you a pretty penny without having to sacrifice much in terms of quality. Sure a used truck may not have all the new shiny bells and whistles that come with a brand new truck, but they can often make up for it by saving you quite a bit of money. In many cases, a used dealer will even offer you a range of great financing options that can make it even easier to strike a deal that is kind both to your driving and to your wallet.

Be Prepared to DIY Simple Repairs

Many people who own trucks may want to take their truck to a repair shop every time that there is a problem. While this may work out for some people, it is usually a far better idea to make use of the best truck maintenance tips while also taking care of your own small maintenance jobs. A lot of tasks can be learned quite easily with a bit of research and testing. Without the proper tools around, you may have to pay a visit to an auto parts store, but the fact remains that there is probably a lot of repair work that you can do to your own car without needing the help of an expert mechanic. Before you dive into any big jobs, it helps to get the right garage floor covering so that you are not doing any major damage to your home when working on your truck.

Hydraulic Maintenance Is Key

If you just so happen to live in a climate that gets a lot of rain, snow, and ice in the wintertime then you are probably at least familiar with one of the most popular truck maintenance tips for winter drivers: hydraulic services The right hydraulic services can help you to make sure that your truck is not unnecessarily exposed to the kinds of elements that can damage its frame and hinder its performance both in near short term future and looking ahead into the months and years to come. Even though the right hydraulic system can be really helpful as one of the top truck maintenance tips for drivers in winter climates, it is equally important to remember that your hydraulic system will not mean much to you if it is not properly maintained.

As with any other aspect of truck care, taking care of your hydraulic system will affect its performance in some major ways. Without the proper hydraulic maintenance schedule in place, you can only expect to have problem after problem when you go to use your hydraulic system. With the right maintenance, however, you can hope to get much more usage out of the system as time moves forward. Taking the time to maintain your hydraulic system may not seem worth it at first, but you will soon see why it is one of the top truck maintenance tips for veteran and beginning drivers alike.

As you can see from the list we have come up with here, there is certainly no shortage of truck maintenance tips that you can make use of if you are a veteran driver of any kind. We hope that by using these truck maintenance tips and your own knowledge and experience that you are able to take care of each and every problem that may happen to arise as you work to continue driving your truck for many years on into the future. Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read, and we wish you all the best of luck with your truck driving!

What You Need To Know About Getting Your Fixed

Written by Custom Wheels Direct. Posted in Home

Even if you consider yourself to be the best driver you know, there’s always the potential for something to happen on the road, and often without warning.

It’s estimated that rear collisions happen on roads in the United States every eight seconds, so there’s always a high potential for a car accident. As if that wasn’t enough, there are unexpected breakdowns, bad weather, car-animal collisions, and numerous other reasons why people might be in need of car repairs.

Regardless of what kind of work you need done, you’re probably wondering how to get your car fixed, so you can get back on the road as quickly as possible.

If you are wondering how to get your car fixed, the good news is you have plenty of options at your disposal, whether you want to have someone else fix it or you want to do the repairs yourself.

Finding A Good Mechanic

Let’s face it: there are plenty of car repairs out there that require the hands and experience of an expert. The good news is that there are more than 600,000 car mechanics in the United States, so you’ve got thousands of options for finding the right place to take care of your car.

But finding the right auto body shop can take some time and knowing what to look for can help you find a place that will address your immediate needs as well as any future issues you may encounter. They’ve got access to tools such as compressors, welders and other high-end equipment, not to mention their years of experience.

Ask Lots Of Questions

You may think that finding a good auto repair shop is as simple as walking into one of your local places, telling them your problem, and having them fix it. Sometimes it really can be that simple, especially if you need a simple repair done. But let’s say your car needs more extensive work. Let’s say your serpentine belt has broken and you need a steering repair to fix your car’s power steering.

When that happens, you need to ask questions. If you know next to nothing about cars, you need to ask questions and then ask more questions. Why? You need to know exactly what’s being done to your car and what needs to be fixed. Even if you’re in the dark about the finer points of car repair, you don’t just want to take someone’s word for it. You need to ask if a particular auto repair shop offers written warranties, and what kinds of other services they may offer.

Get Estimates

Even as you’re wondering how to get your car fixed, you need to stay sharp and make sure you don’t get taken advantage of. A good mechanic or auto shop will be open and honest with you about any car repairs you need and how much it will cost to fix those issues. Some kinds of car repairs are going to cost more than others, but before you have any work done, you need to get estimates. You need to know what’s being done and what it’s going to cost so you’re not blindsided by what might seem like a simple repair.

Think About Location

As you try and figure out how to get your car fixed, you’re going to be thinking about who’s going to fix your car. But you also need to think about where your car is getting repaired. If you know even a little bit about car repair, then you know that a lot of the money you pay is tied to labor costs.

Depending on where you live, that might mean that you’re forking over quite a bit of money in labor costs alone. Most repair shops have guides that determine the approximate time and cost of various repairs and some shops can charge more if they have a higher overhead. Going to a specialist for something like transmission repair can be very beneficial since a transmission gives your car the power to move. But if that specialist is out of your immediate area, you may end up paying a little more in overall costs.

Ask For Recommendations

These days, people get recommendations for just about anything: places to visit for vacation, places to eat, places to get a haircut, and even which babysitters to watch their kids. Why not apply the same kind of detective work when it comes to finding out how to get your car fixed?

If you’ve got a friend who swears by a particular mechanic, take that recommendation to the bank. The place your friend recommends may not be a chain shop or in the biggest building, but at the end of the day you need your car fixed by experienced hands who know how to handle any problem.

Trust Your Instincts

There’s no doubt that they are hundreds of mechanics that can fix complex issues like wheel alignment in any car. But when it comes to finding the right place for you and your car, you might be best going with your gut. If you get an uneasy feeling about a place or feel that a place is gouging you for all it can get, you might be better off elsewhere. It’s true, you need your car repaired and you want to get back on the road, but it’s your money that you’re spending, so be confident in your choice of a shop before you write a check or swipe your credit card.

Make Sure You Have Insurance

Car accidents happen suddenly and a lot more frequently than all of us would like. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, one of the first things you’re probably going to think about is how to get your car fixed.

As you’re thinking about that, you’re going to need to find a repair shop. This is why it pays to have a solid accident insurance policy. Most insurance companies provide coverage for you in the event of an accident, which means all you’ll have to pay is a deductible—usually around $500. Without insurance, you’ll be on the hook for some hefty car repairs. Even simple repairs like replacing a mirror can be as much as $100. With a good auto insurance policy, you’ll have your car fixed up at an affordable price.

Fix Your Car Yourself

There’s no doubt that auto repair shops across the United States do lots of good work to get Americans back on the road quickly. But if consider yourself to be mechanically inclined, another solution for how to get your car fixed is to make repairs yourself.

Why You Need To Fix Your Car

You might think that fixing your car yourself is impossible, but with a little know-how, you can do it and there are good reasons why you need your car fixed:

  • You’ll stay safe
  • You’ll save money
  • You’ll get better overall performance from your car
  • You’ll increase your car’s value

Fixing Your Car At Home

As you’ve read, dozens of different car repairs can be made and some of them are too complex to do at home. But there are a great many repairs you can make at home, which will enhance your knowledge of your car, save you some money, and allow you to feel a great sense of accomplishment.

Changing Your Car’s Oil

One of the most popular reasons anyone visits a dealership or an auto repair shop is to get an oil change. But if you’ve got the right materials and a little patience, you can change your oil right in your driveway.

You’ve likely heard recommendations about how often you need to change the oil in your car; probably something in the neighborhood of every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. If you’re going to change your oil, here’s what you’ll need to do.

  • Make sure your car is in park
  • Make sure the engine is off
  • Go underneath your car and find the oil pan
  • Once that’s been located, unscrew the drain plug and let the oil drain into a pan
  • Once the oil has finished draining, put the drain plug back in.
  • Locate and replace your oil filter
  • Add new oil to your engine and ensure it’s at the right level by checking the dipstick

It’s important to note that if you’re unsure what materials you’ll need—oil and oil filters specifically—visit a local auto parts store. The employees there should be able to give you exactly what you’re looking for based on the type of vehicle you have.

Changing A Car Battery

If the oil is a car’s blood, then the battery is the heart and every so often, you need to care for the hard. The last place you want to find yourself is stuck on the side of the road because your car battery is dead.

If you’re going to replace your car battery, you need to remove the battery terminals and clean them up. You can find all kinds of home remedies online, but some common ones are Coca-Cola or a mixture of baking soda and water. Once the terminals are removed, you can remove the battery and replace it with a new one before attaching the clean terminals, which will help generate more electricity for your car.

Applying Touch-Up Paint

When you think of all the options for how to get your car fixed, you probably think of under the hood repairs and major reconstruction in the event of an accident. But for many car owners, there’s nothing worse than nicks, dents, and scratches. Some estimates have shown that more than half of all reported car damage involves scratched paint.

If it’s applied right, touch-up paint can help your scratches disappear, so you can do some quick auto paint repair at home.

Once you find the right color paint (and it can sometimes be tricky), you’ll need to:

  • Wash your car
  • Check for any rust spots
  • Apply grease remover and wax
  • Sand around the area where a scratch is—usually with 220-grit sandpaper
  • Wash your car again and make sure it’s dry
  • Use rust arrestor and primer in the spot you’re going to paint
  • Apply the paint in the needed area in at least two to three layers

Fix Your Driveway

When you think about how to get your car fixed, you may not immediately think about your driveway. But cracks in the pavement and uneven areas can be potentially hazardous spots for your car to be.

Thankfully, you can visit your local home improvement store and get everything you need, even materials for commercial paving. Assuming you have a concrete driveway, you can pick up some concrete fillers, mixers, and resurfacers to make your driveway look good as new. This way you won’t have to deal with an unsightly driveway or risk something happening to your car.

Train Yourself Up

One of the great things about thinking about how to get your car fixed and DIY auto repairs is that there’s so much you can learn. If you’re going to repair rust and cracks in an aging vehicle, for example, you can welding courses so that those areas become easy fixes. Many people view them as too time-consuming, but they’re not that hard to fix.

You can get a welder for as little as $150 at a home improvement store and because there are different types of welding, it may be best to ask which kind you need. If you’re totally new to welding, many places do offer classes in different types of home improvement, so you can get the materials and the knowledge you need all in one spot.

It’s All Up To You

As you think about how to get your car fixed, know that you have a plethora of options. By visiting a local auto repair shop, you’ll gain a better understanding of what’s wrong with your car and what needs to be done to fix it. While you might end up paying a lot or a little to have it fixed, it will be done by folks who know what they’re doing.

On the other hand, there are many car repairs you can do right in the comfort of your own garage or driveway. By learning basic skills such as how to change a battery, changing your oil, and even fixing scratches, you’ll feel accomplished and gain hands-on experience that will serve you well for many years to come.

How to Be a Great Vehicle Owner: A Guide to Automotive Maintenance

Written by Custom Wheels Direct. Posted in Home

car owner tips

General maintenance is an important part of being a vehicle owner. Not only does it keep your property looking nice and pristine, but regular repairs and cleanings can increase the life of your vehicle.

Sometimes, vehicle owners try to avoid regular maintenance because they feel it is expensive. However, ignoring small issues with your vehicle is a recipe for disaster. Over time, the lack of care can result in larger repairs that cost thousands of dollars.

If you are looking to sell your vehicle or use it to trade-in for a new option, these tips are especially important for you. Keeping the appearance and functionality of your vehicle in top shape can help negate the natural depreciation of a vehicle.

Don’t worry about bouncing around from website to website to learn the best car owner tips for all your different vehicles. We have curated a guide to cover all the basic tips and tricks you will need.

General Vehicle Maintenance Tips

Before diving into specific vehicles, let’s knock out some car owner tips that apply to practically every vehicle.

1. Utilize Your Instruction Manual

Whether you are driving to and from work every day in a 2-door coupe or using a recreational vehicle to see the country, you should always start by becoming comfortable with the vehicle’s user manual. This little guide can be your best friend when it comes to recognizing vehicle issues and making small repairs.

A great first step in learning the user manual is to check out the dash light definitions and learn what any detrimental warning lights look like. You should always know which lights mean, “do some maintenance,” and which ones mean, “get off the highway before you ruin your vehicle.”

2. Maintain the Oil and Filter

One of the best car owner tips we can give you is to change your oil and your filters regularly. This can be done cheaply at home with a little elbow grease, or at a shop for about twice the cost. No matter where you get the oil change done, be certain that the filter is being changed and not just rinsed and replaced. While a cleaned oil filter can technically be reused, this should only be done if run through an analysis system that checks for the quality of the washed filter. Typically, this analysis is not being done which results in useless filters being put back into the vehicle.

3. Do a Monthly Tire Check

Flat tires and blowouts are extremely dangerous. In the United States, over 78,000 accidents a year are caused by these issues and result in over 10,000 hospitalizations and nearly 500 deaths.

The worst thing is that many of these accidents could be avoided by performing regular tire checks. Take a look at your tires and search for damage. Also, assess the air level of the tires to ensure they are not under or overfilled. Here are all the signs that a tired may be damaged:

  • Cracking in the Sidewall: This is a sign that the rubber of the tire is weakened, which can result in a tire blowing while in use.
  • Uneven Tread Damage: Treads that are worn unevenly indicate tires that are damaged, misaligned, or improperly inflated.
  • Extremely Worn Treads: You tire treads are necessary for maintaining traction on roads. Some vehicles use tread indicator bars to show an owner when the tires need to be replaced. Other owners use the old-school method of sticking a penny into the tread. If you can see Honest Abe’s head, the tread is too short.
  • Wobbling or Vibration: A tired check should include a short drive to evaluate the vibration level of the tires. If the vehicle is wobbling, shaking, or overly-vibrating, it is a sign that the tires are misaligned or unbalanced. This is the type of issue that requires immediate servicing from a trusted mechanic.

4. Do Pre-Travel Fluid and Belt checks

Checking the belts and fluids on daily use vehicles is one of the best car owner tips, but don’t forget to perform these checks on other vehicles as well. If you are taking your motorcycle out of the garage for the first time after winter, don’t just hop on and hit the pavement before checking the oil and the drive belt. This can prevent damage to the vehicle as well as damage to the rider.

5. ABC – Always Be Cleaning

Sure, some of the best and most reliable vehicles are old, dirty, rust buckets that get you from point A to point B. Still, if you have a vehicle you want to use regularly and maintain its value as best you can, keep it cleaned and detailed on a regular basis.

This doesn’t need to be expensive. Self service car-washes are a cost-effective way to clean your vehicle and detailing can be done with the cleaning gear you have at home, some lubricant spray, and a little elbow grease. Don’t forget to clean in tight corners, on top of window panes, and down around the seat-belt clasps (especially if you have children or pets).

Care Guide for Cars and Trucks

Typically, cars and trucks are most people’s first picks for primary vehicles. There are options from a wide range of prices that can cater to the aesthetic and functionality needs of any individual. No matter how often you drive your car or truck, there are certain care tips that you should keep in mind.

Car Care Tips

In addition to our general vehicle maintenance ideas, here are a few other car owner tips to keep your ride in great shape.

  1. Keep Your Windshield Clean: dead bugs, tree sap, and other muck that ends up on your windshield is more than just an eyesore. This debris can create a hazard by blocking your view of the roadway. Additionally, build-up of scum in the windshield can create a film that produces harsh sun-glares and prolonged damage to the integrity of the glass.
  2. Be Wary of Grinding Brakes: It is easy to think squeaky and grinding brakes aren’t a big deal in a small car, but that little care is still a deadly piece of machinery. If your brakes fail you can be seriously injured or even injure others. Always replace brake pads as soon as they begin to get worn to avoid having to replace the entire rotor.
  3. Utilize a Dash Camera for Care Maintenance: Accidents happen, but you shouldn’t be on the hook for damage caused by the careless driver in the next parking spot over. Keeping dash cameras installed in a vehicle helps prove culpability when your vehicle is damaged and can save you thousands of dollars in repairs.
  4. Avoid Direct Heat: When it gets hot out, consider parking in the shade, under an awning, in the garage, or anywhere you can avoid direct sunlight on the hood of your car. This helps protect the battery which can be weakened by extreme heat.

Truck Care Tips

Truck care is similar to maintenance for your car, but here are a few additional tips to consider as well:

  1. Drive Less Aggressively: While trucks can make us feel tough and powerful, they also come with very particularly balanced weight distributions and sensors that can be severely altered or damaged if the vehicle is constantly being jarred.
  2. Keep your Tailgate Maintained: Proper lubrication and maintenance of the tailgate are vital to its longevity. An improperly treated tailgate can have difficulty remaining latched, which can lead to a disastrous spill of your belongings along the roadway.
  3. Check for Rust on the Roof: Paint chips can lead to the rusting of the underlying metal on your truck. However, sometimes we can overlook these chips on the roof of larger vehicles where we can’t typically see. What’s worse, is this is where you are most likely to see damage to the paint due to small debris from trees hitting the area.
  4. Consider Truck Bed Protection: using truck accessories like a spray liner, bed cover, or covered parking for your truck is great way to maintain the integrity of your truck bed. These tricks can reduce damage caused by leaf litter, moisture, and other natural debris that may accumulate in the bed.

Care Guide for RVs Other Recreational Vehicles

car owner tips

One of our top car owner tips is to utilize all your maintenance skills for recreational vehicles as well. However, there are a few additional care tips you might want to remember:

  • Maintain the waste system in Your RV.
  • Keep Motorcycles, Scooters, and ATVs tarped and protected when not in use.
  • Follow special care guides for water vehicles.
  • Frequently treat the gas on all terrain vehicles.

You’ll also want to store these vehicles safely when they’re not in use. Ensure that your garage’s roof is in good condition, especially during the winter where moisture can get in and damage your vehicle. Contact a roofing company for your garage or be sure to cover your vehicles with a tarp during the off-season.

Money-Saving Tips For Purchasing a New Vehicle

If you are in the market for a new (or new to you) vehicle, we have some money-saving car owner tips that can greatly improve your buying experience.

First, consider the state of your credit and finances. How much money do you have to put toward a vehicle? If you need to finance the majority of the vehicle price, will your credit score impress lenders?

Bad Credit Loans

When you are in dire need of a vehicle but your credit is shot, a bad credit loan can be a great option. However, there are a few things to keep in mind with this option.

Pros:

  • Fast Cash
  • Nearly Guaranteed Approval
  • Elongated Pay-Back Periods
  • Option for Rebuilding Credit

Cons:

  • High Interest Rates
  • Lots of Fees
  • Auto Withdrawal Required
  • Must Provide Collateral

Buy Something That Needs Work

If you are a little more mechanically savvy, you may be interested in looking for repairable vehicles for sale. Depending on the level of damage, you can often flip these cars for profit or create a desirable personal vehicle for far less than buying off a lot.

One of our car owner tips is to remember that buying a fixer-upper can be a lot of fun, but a total-loss vehicle can often be difficult to ensure and might end up having more problems than you realize.

Consider a Trade-In

One way to boost your vehicle buying options is by providing a trade-in to the lot to offset the purchase cost. Often, lots will take a trade-in of any make or model so long as it has resale value.

car owner tips

Be aware that lots will try to low ball you because it provides them more cushion for a return on investment. If you feel a lot is offering you unfair prices, try shopping around or consider selling the vehicle privately and using the cash as a down payment.

Keep Your Vehicles Safe

Properly maintaining your vehicle is great, but another of our important car owner tips is to protect your vehicle from damage and accidents. There are a lot of ways to boost the safety of your vehicle, but here are a few options that are easy and effective.

1. Keep your Vehicle Secure

Find a safe place to store your vehicle and ensure it is properly secured. For instance, if you keep your motorcycle in a privacy-fenced yard, you will also want to make sure there are locks on the gates that prevent the bike from being easily carried from the yard. Additionally, if you store your cars in the garage, make sure the panel doors are secure and don’t lift under pressure.

If your garage doors are susceptible to being lifted or pushed, look into garage door repair services immediately. This leaves your vehicles as well as your home vulnerable to theft.

2. Insure your Vehicle

This is one of our car owner tips as well as avoiding tickets and impound fees tip. If you are keeping your vehicles tagged for use, you must also maintain auto insurance on the vehicles.

This does more than just protect your vehicle and bank account form the cost of repairs after an accident. It also protects other drivers, pedestrians, and vehicles from damage caused by you, which is why it is illegal to operate a vehicle without being insured.

Keep Yourself Safe

car owner tips

Some vehicles, like dirt bikes, mopeds, and ATVs can be used for some pretty rowdy play. This can lead to small accidents that can cause minor to serious injuries. Here are a few car owner tips to protect yourself:

  • Wear a Helmet and Protective Gear: We can’t stress this enough. The lack of protective gear can make the difference between a few cuts and bruises and death.
  • Maintain your Vehicles: That’s right, vehicle maintenance is important for more than just the life of the vehicle.
  • Learn Basic First Aid: Being able to tend to your own wounds is important for remaining safe outside the home. Take the time to learn skills from skin abrasion wound care to performing CPR.
  • Use Lawyers When Necessary: Sometimes accidents can’t be avoided. However, if you are not at fault, you shouldn’t be paying for repairs and medical bills. In fact, you may be deserving of pain and suffering payments as well. If you have been injured in an accident caused by another person, consider talking to a personal injury attorney.