Vehicle Maintenance 101 For Women
Making It Easy
It is time to be frank. Or at least be like him. Vehicle maintenance is not nearly as difficult as it may seem. In fact, it is more about knowing numbers than anything else. Let us approach this in an easy to follow, easy to remember format.
Speaking generally, when you go to the salon to get your hair cut and colored, you leave with an appointment to go back in three months to reapply color and freshen up your cut. In the meantime you might pop in once a month for a root touch up or even do this at home. Every time you get your hair done, make an appointment to get your oil changed. It is recommended for most vehicles to change your oil every 3,000 miles, or three months, whichever comes first. When you feel it is time for a touch up, check your oil. This will make it easy to determine if you may need an additional quart before service time. A lot of older model GM vehicles, for example, tend not to make it to the 3,000 mile mark. Knowing when your vehicle gets low on oil will help you to take better care of it. It is never bad for your vehicle to get the oil changed a little early. It is always bad to delay oil changes for any lengthy period of time.
It is a rule of thumb that you should get your nails done every two weeks. The day before your appointment, check all your vehicle's fluids.Brake fluid, antifreeze, oil, transmission fluid, windshield washer fluid, and if possible, your air conditioner level. If you are unsure of the location of these fluids or how to check them, consult your owner's manual or take a trip to your local auto parts store. Many cannot check or change the fluids for you due to insurance requirements but they are able to guide you and teach you what you need to know free of charge. This way you will always know how 'hydrated' your vehicle is. This is also a good time to check your tire pressure and add more, if necessary. There has been a lot of bad publicity with the advertisements regarding saving gas by keeping your tire's properly inflated. While under-inflated tires will not kill your gas mileage, it does not help it either. There is a bit of merit there. Your car will run smoother and handle better when the tires are taken care of.
This procedure is done on average of every six weeks. This is a good time to get your air filter checked if you have the replaceable kind. If you have an upgraded high performance air filter, like a K & N, this is a good time to get it cleaned. The same applies to your cabin air filter if your vehicle is outfitted for one.
Your windshield wipers should be replaced every six months. This information and more can be confirmed in your vehicle's owner's manual or maintenance guide. It is also an opportune time for a semi annual tune up. Yes, it can wait to be done once a year but, trust me, your vehicle will thank you if you do this twice a year. That means changing spark plugs, filters, checking the sensors, tire pressure, brakes, rotors, tire alignment and more, if needed. Take your car to the shop, hop a cab to your appointment, by the time you are done, your vehicle should be, too. If it takes them a little longer, that is okay. A reputable shop will take their time if they are doing the job right.
Doing The Job Yourself
Most of jobs listed above can be done on your own if you feel comfortable trying. Most of it is simply a matter of turning a wrench. Gloves will protect your hands and there are many new products on the market today that are designed to make self maintenance easier and even some designed with women in mind. If you would rather leave it to the professionals, do your homework, ask around, make sure the shop you choose is well recommended, clean, reasonable on price, and does not have a reputation for treating women as lesser beings (you will encounter a few of those). If you are at all uncomfortable, you are not obligated to be nice and leave your car there.
Treat your car the way you treat your body. You require upkeep, hydration, routine physicals, good health, and a proper diet. Your car requires upkeep, hydration in the form of fluids, regular 'check-ups', and proper maintenance. The next time you head to your annual exam, consider if your car has had it's needs met. If the answer is no, start scheduling your appointments now. Your car will run better and last longer, just like you.