How much do women really know about what's under the hood of their car—and, the care needed? Here are a few ideas to keep your car running safely and smoothly for years to come:
Create a preventive maintenance checklist Topping off fluid levels, inspecting belts, hoses and tire pressure, changing engine oil and making sure all the lights work should be done regularly by a car care professional.
Check your engine air filter The engine air filter is the car's lung. Check your owner's manual to see when it should be changed to make sure your car is breathing clearly.
Check your engine oil and filter Engine oil is the car’s lifeblood. Check your oil level often. Also check the owner's manual for when to replace the oil and which grade to use.
Know how to check tire pressure and change a tire A flat tire is never entertaining. Learning how to change it yourself can save lots of time. Ask your car care professional to show you how. Make sure your tires have the correct tire pressure. You can find it in the vehicle owner's manual or on a decal in the door jamb or glove compartment. While you’re at it, inspect and fill the spare tire.
Control gas consumption Obeying the speed limit, making sure your tires are properly inflated, removing extra weight from the back seat and trunk all improve your gas mileage.
Check, clean and replace worn wiper blades Wiper blades should be changed about every six months. Check for cracks regularly and use a wet paper towel to clean the blades.
In case of emergency Make sure you have a vehicle emergency kit. Bottled water, a flashlight, flares, duct tape, an extra cell phone and charger, energy bars, a blanket, phone number for roadside assistance and a can of Fix-a-Flat would be smart options.