For many people in Rockville, MD their first lessons in car care came from their father. Those nuggets of wisdom tend to stick with us, whether our dad was a full on gear head or just changed gears on his daily commute to the office. So in celebration of Father’s Day we have decided to share some of the best, dad-approved car care tips you have probably heard at least once or twice.
- Check Your Own Oil
In the past most people checked the oil every time they fueled up. But who checks their own oil anymore? Newer cars have digital indicators on the dash that come on when it is time for your next oil change. And most new cars don’t require an oil change until 7,500 or 10,000 miles. But turns out, this is still good advice. It is important to check your oil levels once a month, especially before a long road trip. You don’t want to be surprised by an oil leak that leaves you on the side of the road. Park your car on a flat surface and remember to pull out the dipstick, wipe it, put it back, and then pull it out again for the most accurate check.
- Do the Penny Tire Test
This is probably the oldest trick in the book, handed down from generation to generation. To check the tread depth on your tires all you need is one cent. Insert the coin head first into a tire tread. If the top of Lincoln’s head is visible then your tires are worn out and you need to replace them. You should test several spots on each tire, just to make sure they wear evenly. You probably also learned how to, or in some cases how NOT to, change a flat tire. All valuable information if you want to stay safe on the road.
- Check Your Tire Pressure
When it comes to tires, you can’t rely on your eyes—or even the dashboard warning light—to tell if your tires need air. The best way to test tire pressure is with the good ol’ tire gauge. With every change in season you should test your tire pressure. Underinflated tires reduce gas mileage. Overinflated tires cause more blowouts. And don’t forget to also test the air pressure in your spare.
- Don’t Allow the Gas Tank to Reach Empty
“Cars run better on a full tank of gas.” While not exactly true, this is still good, fatherly advice. In the past sediment could form in the bottom of the tank. When fuel ran low the fuel pump would suck up some of that sludge which could cause any number of problems. Modern fuel pumps have a protective screen that catches any contaminants, so you don’t really have to worry about driving on low fuel. But still, it is smart to always keep at least half a tank in your car so you don’t end up running out of gas.
- Always Keep Your Car Clean
Along with proper car maintenance and auto repair you likely got some good advice from your father about cleaning your car. Nothing compares to the experience of parking the car on the lawn in the summer and washing it by hand with a bucket of suds and a garden hose. This gives you a chance to check the body of your car for any dents, scrapes, rust, or corrosion. Along with the outside, you should also keep the inside of your car and trunk clean. The extra few pounds of clothes, sports equipment, book bags, and random junk can add up fast and eat up your gas mileage.
Visit Preferred Automotive for Auto Repair in Rockville, MD
One knowledgeable mantra shared by many auto owners is “If you take care of your car, it will take care of you.” Proper vehicle maintenance and auto repair is rewarded with vehicles getting you safely to your destination. For more information about proper car care visit 12356 Wilkins Ave, Rockville, MD 20852 or schedule a vehicle inspection by calling (301) 881-8530.