You’ve done all your research, asked the right questions, and finally purchased your first car! You’ve probably been warned of the mistakes first-time car buyers make, but have you heard of the mistakes first-time car owners make?
Now that your keys are in your hands, avoid making these mistakes.
Not having a spare tire
Most modern cars do not come equipped with a spare tire unless you purposefully add one. Look in the trunk of your car to see if you have a spare tire — if you don’t, consider buying one.
Driving on a flat tire causes damage to your car and greatly increases your chances of an accident. The lower your tire pressure, the harder your vehicle is to control. If you find yourself with a flat, it’s best to pull over.
If you do have a spare tire, you should also know how to swap your old tire out. Having a new tire in your trunk will do you no good if you don’t have the proper tools or the skill set to change it.
The good news is, there are roadside assistance services that can help you out if you find yourself without a tire. Even if you haven’t already signed up for a service, you’ll likely be able to find an emergency service that will change your tire for you. You’re out of luck if you ever find yourself with a flat in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone reception though!
Putting the wrong fuel in your car
Know what kind of fuel your car takes. Putting the wrong fuel in a vehicle is a common mistake, but it’s a mistake that can cause extensive damage to your engine.
If you realize your mistake right away, do not start your engine. If you realize it after you start driving, pull over right away.
The fuel will need to be removed from your car, but don’t try to siphon it out yourself. Fuel will remain in the tank and cause damage when you turn your engine on.
Don’t worry though. Plenty of people put the wrong fuel in their car and there are services that can help you. For example, Fuel Doctor UK offers 24-hour service and aims to get you back on the road in under an hour.
Not having the right tools in your car
Would you know what to do if you ever found yourself stuck on the side of the road during a snowstorm? How about if you were ever in a serious accident?
Keeping a few essential tools in your car will help you be prepared for those unwanted situations. Even if you’re not a mechanic, having the right tools available increases your chances of being able to make it home or to a repair shop. And, in the event of an accident, a first-aid kit could help provide much needed medical supplies.
Now is a good time to take a few minutes and put some essential tools in your car. You don’t want to find yourself stuck by the side of the road with your tools sitting at home in your garage.
Forgetting routine car maintenance
If you’ve never owned a car before, you might not realize how much maintenance your car needs. Your tires need checked, your oil needs changed, your belts and hoses need examined, your air filter needs replaced…and that’s just to name a few things!
Depending on your knowledge, you might be able to perform your own routine maintenance at home.
If you don’t feel comfortable performing your own maintenance, considering visiting a mechanic. A mechanic can perform the maintenance for you or teach you basic car care.
Some car dealerships also provide free service checks in the months following your car purchase. If your dealership offered oil changes or another deal, take them up on their offer!
Not reading the manual
Check your car’s glove box to see if you have an owner’s manual. If you don’t, see if you can locate it online.
The information in your manual is specific to your car and provides necessary information, such as what kind of transmission fluid you should use. It will even break basic mechanical matters down for you.
Even if you don’t want to read it cover to cover, you should at least skim the information. Familiarizing yourself with your manual will allow you to know where to go if you ever have a question about your car.