On Your Own: Guide to Owning Your First Car

Whether you are living at home or you are on your own, the first car you own is a big responsibility. A car is an investment and you’ll want to make sure your money goes to good use and your car stays in shape. Learn these tips for keeping track of your car’s well-being, and making it last as long as you can.

Get to Know the Owner’s Manual

Every car is different, and the place where you start to learn about your car and how to keep it running, is in the owner’s manual. The owner’s manual will teach you what every light and switch in the car means, and will also tell how you can do some minor repairs. Remember that keeping basic DIY repair manuals on hand will also go a long way in maintaining the vehicle through all the seasons you and your car face.

Top It Off

It feels like it goes without saying, but keep your gas tank full. It is far easier to fill up the tank than it is to run on fumes, and it is also important when you want to keep your car in good shape during the winter. The last thing you want is to run out of gas on the highway, so why chance it? Gas is pricy, so budget accordingly.

Learn to Check the Tire Pressure

With good care, regular rotation, and careful attention, your tires can last for quite some time. Make sure you are aware of how much wear you put on your tires. Learn to check the tire pressure at the gas station, and keep an eye out for tacks in the tires, and wear on the walls. If possible, try to get new tires before each winter.

Get Insurance

Car insurance is required often and is not a luxury item. Get insurance, and pay for as much as you can. This is what will keep you safe in the event of an accident and give you money to get by if something happens. Keep the proof of insurance in your glove box, and be ready to present it if you need to.

Drive Responsibly 

Drive the car you have, not the one you wish you had! Don’t push the car faster than it can go, and respect the limitations you may have with your model. Stay safe, and always be aware of any problems, no matter how trivial. If your car does not have four wheel drive, try not to take it into rough territory.

Learning to take care of a car is an important part of living on your own, so be diligent in checking every part, especially during the harder months.

Carsurfer Admin

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