The College Student’s Guide to Car Maintenance
Having your own car is a big step towards independence. This is the time to feel the freedom of having your own car: use it to broaden your horizons and go where you want to go. Now that you have your own ride, you can go where you want without asking your parents, drive to your job without someone else taking you, and you can finally stop paying for Ubers, which will save you a lot of money!
Then again, a car is an expensive investment and it comes with a lot of responsibilities, which is why you must understand how to properly take care of your car. If you want your car to thrive through all of those late night, fast food outings you will soon be going on, keeping up with the car's maintenance is something you can’t slack on! Here is the college student’s guide to car maintenance.
Give Your Car A Bubble Bath
Washing Your Car At Home Will Save You Big Bucks
Now, you might not think washing your car is a necessary step for your car’s maintenance, but it actually is! Simply stated, rust is not good for your car or your car's paint. Most experts recommend you wash your car every two weeks. I know what you’re thinking: every two weeks is a lot! Well, it can be a lot, especially if you are paying for your car wash. A cheaper way would be to wash your car yourself.
To give your car the TLC it deserves at home, you will need a car washing liquid, water, a sponge or wet rag, something to then dry your car off with, wheel cleaner, two buckets (one for soap and water, and the other for rinsing out the dirty sponge), pand window cleaner.
If you don’t drive your car as much, you probably won’t need to wash your car every two weeks; however, for people who use their car almost everyday, washing your car every couple of weeks is something you should stay on top of.
One Oil Change, Please!
Changing your oil when needed is a critical component of caring for your car. Putting new oil in your vehicle helps the car's engine stay clean and lubricated; without new oil, your car is susceptible to engine problems. Every car is different, but most often, people change their oil every 3,000 miles. If you have no idea when to change your car’s oil or what to use, try looking it up or calling an auto repair shop.
Be Sure to Check Those Brakes!
A good to do is to check your brake fluid whenever you change your oil. Here’s why: while brake fluid doesn’t have to be changed as regularly as your car’s oil, it is still incredibly important in maintaining your vehicle's upkeep.
Practicing Mindfulness Towards Maintenance
Along with this, I suggest you take a second to turn down your music while driving your car and listen to your brakes! If you hear your brakes making a squeaking noise, or you can feel them not stopping as fast as they should, that’s when you know something is wrong. Keep this in the back of your mind when driving and you’ll always be taking preventative measures towards bettering your vehicle’s brakes!
Wiper Fluid? Yes, Really!
Windshield wiper fluid is critically important, especially if you live somewhere where the weather becomes severe. If your windshield gets dirty and you have no wiper fluid, you will be unable to clean it right away. That’s why, when your wiper fluid is out, you should try to refill it as soon as possible. Weather can sometimes sneak up on you, so it’s better to be safe than sorry!
This College Student’s Guide to Car Maintenance
Hopefully by now you know that keeping up with your car’s maintenance is an essential aspect of owning a car. However, don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t know how to properly take care of your car! You have a lot of resources available to you in the form of family or friends, but keep in mind that Google is here for a reason. I recommend looking at websites that specialize in auto repair or focus on advising for the exact make and model of your car.
Maintain Your Maintenance
I believe that now is the time to live, to get out and explore, and to enjoy your freedom! You should absolutely have fun with your new investment, but realize that a car is an investment. It’s important to maintain and love your car; it’s better to learn this lesson from me rather than when you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere because your engine stopped working.
You’re young, so roll those windows down, blast some music, and go watch the sunset in your new car! Use this time to explore your independence! Want to go on a road trip? Do it! (Click here to start planning one now!) As a college student, it can be easy to overlook important to do’s, but keeping your cars maintenance is essential. Follow this college student’s guide to car maintenance and stick to a schedule!