10 Car Maintenance Tips & Skills All Moms Need to Know
I’ll never forget the night I was standing in a parking lot in the dark, watching my friend freak out about her dead car battery.
Of a handful of friends present, I was the only one who knew how to jump start a car – but it was late and I was holding Ella. Every time I tried to pass her to a friend, she screamed bloody murder. I tried to coach my friends through the process of jump starting her car, but they were nervous having never done it before and we ended up waiting around for my dad to show up and help.
Ever since, I’ve felt very strongly about women knowing basic car maintenance and safety skills – from knowing how to check the oil to jump starting a car. Here are the top 10 Car Maintenance Tips you need to learn today to ensure your safety on the road.
The first thing I want to encourage you to do is read your car’s owner’s manual and read your warranty (if you have one). Your owner’s manual will give you recommended times for replacing certain things – like time belts, that you should be aware of. Not changing belts on time can cause damage to the entire engine.
Also, your car may run better on certain types of gas. For example, German cars usually can only use Premium Gas.
Most basic car maintenance you should be good to do on your own without voiding your warranty (if your car is still under one) but double check. Some warranties will become completely void if you even change an oil filter (or take it somewhere other than the dealer to change it). Being aware of this can save you lots of headaches in the future.
10 Car Maintenance Tips for Women
- Know how & when to pump your own gas
This might seem obvious to some, but it’s a really good place to start – especially if you are from an area where full-service stations are the norm.
Recently, I was talking to a friend about the little ways her husband shows her affection – and it came up that she has never in her life pumped her own gas since she went right from her parent’s car to being married and having her husband take care of that.
Also, did you know that you shouldn’t let your gas gauge get below a quarter tank? This can cause issues in the winter, so it’s good to be in the habit of it all year round.
2. How to top up washer fluid
On most cars, you should be able to simply pop the top of the reservoir and pour the windshield wiper fluid in – use a funnel if you’re not confident in your pouring skills. Be careful with anything that comes in touch with the fluid as it is highly flammable.
Also, you should use a different formula of washer fluid in the summer versus the winter – they are also often different colors to help remind you of the difference. The summer one can freeze in the winter so pay attention!
3. Check your headlights
It’s really easy to change the headlight bulbs and it’s really important to be diligent about checking them. If your break lights or signal lights aren’t working, you can cause an accident or get a hefty ticket. Here’s a quick one minute video to show you how to do it.
4. Know how to change a fuse
Fuses can burn out or break in a car, just like in your home’s fuse box. I one time whacked the radio with my purse and caused a fuse to burn out. Now, I keep extra fuses in the glove box and it’s really easy to swap them out if one burns.
5. Check & Top Up Oil
Changing the oil filters is an advanced task that can be great to know, but at the very least you really do need to be able to check and add oil – especially if you’re doing any road trips or long distance driving. Just driving my daughter to and from school plus doing a couple errands in the week requires me to often top up my oil a bit, so don’t underestimate this task.
My dad always recommended pure synthetic oil, and there can be some issues with mixing oil types, so try to stick to one if you can.
To check the oil properly, pull out the dip stick and wipe clean with a rag or paper towel. Insert it back in the tester, and then pull it out again. Compare the fill line to where the oil comes up on the stick. Also, take note of how clean the oil looks (it should not be dark or black).
You don’t want to fill your oil tank to the top as the oil will expand, and if you spill oil it can cause smoking when the engine heats up. Get a cheap funnel just for this purpose to avoid spills.
6. Changing Cabin Air Filters
This isn’t an essential skill, but it is really easy to do on your own and can save you some money at the mechanic.
The air filter stops engine smells from entering the car, which can cause headaches and also be worrying. Changing the air filter regularly prevents that and makes it easier to know if your engine is putting out bad smells, which can be an indication of a problem.
7. How to Jump a Car
Okay, this might seem like a big skill, but having kids – it is a lifesaver to know how to do this yourself. Imagine if in the process of getting all of the kids and groceries out of the car, you accidentally leave a door or the trunk ajar. Or, maybe your child is like mine and loves flipping the light switch on the interior light? These things can all lead to your battery dying.
I’m going to link to this video as this is a skill you need to be confident in, but the big things are:
- Turn both cars off (park or neutral setting)
- Connect the red jumper cable to the red terminal of the not-dead battery
- Connect the other red cable to the red terminal of the dead battery
- Connect the black cable to the black terminal of the not-dead battery
- Connect the other black cable to an unpainted metal surface (like the pole holding up the hood)
- Start the car of the not-dead battery and run for a few minutes
- Attempt to start the dead battery’s car
Another thing, please spend the $10-20 and get a set of jumper cables for your car. If you’re ever in the bind of needing to jump your car, your odds of finding someone willing to help are better than your odds of finding someone willing to help with jumper cables.
8. Changing Wiper Blades
If you’ve already topped up the windshield wiper fluid and you’re experiencing streaks or inadequate cleaning of your windows, change your wiper blades right away. Visibility is important, especially in extreme weather – and you don’t want to pay a mechanic to do this simple job for you. I actually keep a spare set of wiper blades in my trunk and they are super simple to swap out. Here’s a video.
9. Check air pressure & fill tires
You can check air pressure with a small air pressure tool (keep it in the glove box as it can double as a tool for breaking windows if you ever get stuck in the car) or with a penny. I prefer the tool as it’s more exact, and I also keep quarters in the glove box if I ever need to add air (not actually air) to the tires.
10. Stay on top of scratches
If your car has a metal exterior, a small scratch can lead to rusting. If you notice a scratch, try buffing it out and if that doesn’t work, invest in a small bottle of sealant or car paint to prevent moisture from entering that opening.
While not an essential skill, keeping a clean car is something that makes a huge difference in car ownership. I feel prouder and more invested in my car when I’ve taken the time to empty out all of the little items that can clutter up the small space and spend a dollar vacuuming it out. I use regular cleaning wipes to remove dust and food crumbs.
Also, being a cautious driver can prevent the need for repairs. Going slowly over potholes and speed bumps is a great place to start!
Now, here are some advanced skills to consider learning once you have checked off all of the above:
- knowing how to change a tire (and use a car jack)
- knowing how to flush your radiator
- replacing oil filters
- changing the oil (not just topping up)
What essential car maintenance skills would you add to this list? Would ordering car essentials like oil online make your life easier?
This is a great list…and perfect for summer roadtrips! I didn’t realize you could order oil online. Thanks for sharing! #client
It’s usually not necessary to clamp the negative cable to the cat frame away from the battery. These days, car batteries are not vented, so there is no chance of a little hydrogen gas being present. Clamping + to + and – to – is not ad dangerous as it used to be.
Thanks! That’s good to know – do you have a suggestion as to an age of car that you should take these precautions with?
Today women are no way behind the men. Women should also acquire some knowledge about car maintenance if they own a car. They should know how to perform the routine maintenance tasks on their own. Routine maintenance tasks include changing the oil & oil filter,checking the essential fluids, checking the tire pressure etc. By performing the routine maintenance tasks on their own they could save their wallet and gain some expertise. But for major maintenance issues like engine and transmission repair you have to contact a reputed auto repair shop. For this you may refer to:
Basic knowledge of car maintenance tricks could be very helpful to keep the vehicle in working order. So, everyone should know some sort of basic car maintenance tricks which are really essential to keep the vehicle in working order. Besides, one shouldn’t ignore the appearance of the abnormal sign which indicates that the vehicle has some sort of mechanical issues. As the mechanical issues responsible for the appearance of such an abnormal sign could have disastrous impacts on the performance of the vehicle. So, such issues should be fixed in time to keep the vehicle in working order. For more assistance from experienced technicians, readers may like to visit https://www.completeautomotivesystems.com/contact/
The number of female operatives is emulating nowadays. Thus, it is important for a female driver to have the basic car maintenance skills so that she can keep herself safe at the time of an unanticipated car breakdown on the road. First thing, I would like to tell that a woman needs a dependable car that won’t leave helpless somewhere. She has to learn how to change oil, spark plug and how to inspect the tire pressure. She needs to service her convertible from time to time by appointing a “ skilled car mechanic- https://www.greengaragewp.com/about-us/ ” because this is the only way by which she can stay ahead of major car complications.
Thanks for highlighting the factors which should be taken into consideration to keep a vehicle in working order. The condition of different components of the vehicle should be inspected regularly and any sign which indicates that the vehicle has some sort of mechanical issues shouldn’t be ignored and the reason behind the appearance of the abnormal sign should be identified and repaired in time to keep the vehicle in working order. Tires are often ignored by many people which could bring the vehicle to a halt in the middle of nowhere. So, replacement of damaged tire is also essential to keep the vehicle in working order.
A person should be aware of basic car maintenance and repairing tricks which is really essential to keep a car in working order. Different types of lubricants used in a car play a critical role in the performance of a vehicle. However, such lubricants have expiry time and need to be replaced after that time interval. Besides, a car needs to be washed regularly to remove the deposited contaminants from the vehicle. As such contaminants could damage different components of a car. Inspection of a vehicle on a daily basis is also essential as such kinds of inspection help to find out and fix the mechanical issues associated with a car. To fix such issues, visit https://www.mastermechanicsauto.com/book-now/
Women usually lean on their husbands or fathers to handle ‘car stuff’. And that’s why lady drivers often unreasonably portrayed as damsels in torment at a car repair shop. No matter you are a boy or a girl, in my opinion, you must know how to change car tire, how to check fluids or jumpstart a battery, how to change oil- https://www.serviceatlandmark.com/european-auto-oil-change/ and spark plug, and what to do when encountering a breakdown on the highway, in order to keep yourself safe in case of an emergency.
Undoubtedly, women should be aware of basic car maintenance tricks which are really essential to keep a car in working order. They should be aware of basic car maintenance and repairing tricks as a lack of such knowledge have a significant negative influence on the performance of the vehicle. Warning signs which indicate that the car has some sort of abnormalities should not be ignored and the reason behind the appearance of such sign needs to be identified and repaired in time to keep the vehicle in working order. For more car care tips, visit https://www.grouponemotorwerks.com/german-auto-car-care/
Women should be aware of basic car maintenance and repairing tricks which is really essential to deal with different types of car-related issues and to keep the car in working order. A car should be subjected to inspection on a daily basis and any signs which indicates that the vehicle has some sort of mechanical abnormalities should not be ignored. Different types of warning indicators installed in our vehicles help us to spot and fix the mechanical abnormalities in the car. For more assistance, visit https://autowerkstx.com/european-auto-preventative-maintenance/
Every Girl who drives a car know some basic car maintenance and this article is perfect for that . pecially I like the part how to jump a car, i read another article on how to totate tier with one jack that was also very helpful, here i found veryintresting and amazing information so far,thank you for sharing this amzing information.
Awesome content and tips that every moms can follow through it. It’s best to know those maintenance to avoid any problems while on the road.
You have shared a fantastic blog. Thanks for sharing it. GoWrench Auto also provides authentic information about auto maintenance and repair.