Archive for the ‘Getting The Most For Your Money’ Category

7 Tips for Maintaining Your Car When You’re Not Driving It Much

Posted on: September 4th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to our lives. One unexpected impact has been a reduction in driving. Many people have traded their daily commute for remote working and Zoom meetings, and many leisure activities are currently on hold as we figure out how to safely reopen businesses. This has caused many vehicles to sit idly in driveways for extended periods of time.

It’s important to understand that your car still requires maintenance, even when you’re not driving it often. Otherwise, you may develop expensive issues down the road. The following tips will help you keep your vehicle in good shape while you’re driving less frequently.

Avoid Flat Spots on Tires

Over time, your tires will gradually lose air pressure. When the vehicle stays in one place for too long, this can result in the development of flat spots on the region where the rubber touches the road. These flat spots can develop within a month of the car not moving.

Unfortunately, flat spots may result in a need to replace the tires faster than usual. To avoid this issue, check your tires regularly to make sure they’re properly inflated. If you’re not driving at all, move the vehicle forward and backward periodically to change the part of the tire touching the road. This will help you avoid flat spots.

Adjust Your Oil Change Schedule

7 Tips for Maintaining Your Car When You’re Not Driving It MuchWhen you drive on a regular basis, oil changes are scheduled based on mileage intervals. If you’re not using your vehicle, this will result in a very long time period between oil changes. Condensation and temperature fluctuations can cause the oil to deteriorate over time. To avoid this, you may want to consider switching to a time-based oil change interval. Check your owner’s manual for the maximum amount of time your vehicle should go without an oil change. Make sure you change the oil before this time period elapses, even if you haven’t driven the mileage necessary to typically require an oil change.

Keep Your Battery Charged

Your battery will slowly discharge over time when you don’t use your car. You may find that if you try to start the vehicle for the first time in several months, the battery may be dead. There are two ways to avoid this problem:

  • Start and drive the car at least once a week – You don’t have to drive the car for very long. A short trip to and from the grocery store will be sufficient to keep your battery charged.
  • Use a trickle charger – If you’re not able to go for a short drive periodically, a trickle charger is a great way to keep your battery from draining. This device connects to your battery’s terminals and can be plugged into a standard wall socket to generate the charge necessary for your battery to function properly.

Keep Vehicle Parts Properly Lubricated

When your car sits idly without being used:

  • Oil settles
  • Fluids separate
  • Seals begin to dry out

This can result in serious problems with many of the mechanical parts in the vehicle. If the engine, transmission and brakes don’t stay properly lubricated, you may face costly replacements once you start using your car again.

To avoid this issue, make sure to take the car for a short drive at least once a week. This simple action can save you thousands of dollars in repairs.

Top Off Your Gas Tank

If you know you won’t be driving for an extended period of time, make sure to fill up with gas before letting your car sit. This will reduce condensation inside the gas tank. You may also want to consider using fuel stabilizer to prevent the gas from degrading over time.

Pay Attention to Where You Park

If possible, try to avoid parking under a tree for extended periods of time. If you must park under a tree, make sure it doesn’t drip sap. Sap will wreak havoc on your paint job. In addition, birds tend to congregate in trees, and bird poop can damage your car’s exterior in a short period of time.

Use a Car Cover

Your car can sustain more exterior cosmetic damage than you would expect when it doesn’t move. Accidental scrapes, UV damage, abrasive dust, sap from trees, bird poop and harsh weather elements can have a devastating impact on your vehicle. A car cover is an inexpensive way to prevent this damage to your car.

Accurate Auto Body Can Help Restore External Vehicle Damage

If your car has suffered external damage from sitting around during the pandemic, Accurate Auto Body can help. Over the past 30 years, we’ve developed a reputation as one of the top auto body shops in the Denver area. At Accurate Auto Body, we’re committed to delivering the exceptional service you deserve. You’ll benefit from our exclusive Focus on You Service System™, which provides you with:

  • Unparalleled levels of personal attention
  • Faster turn-around times
  • Auto repair consulting to ensure you’re properly informed about your options
  • Guaranteed pricing and delivery dates
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Repair update options to address your unique preferences (phone, text, email, web)
  • Full auto insurance coordination

Please contact us to get a free repair estimate. We serve customers in Denver, Aurora and the surrounding areas of Colorado.

Car Paint Protection in Summer Heat

Posted on: July 8th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

car paint protectionThere are many benefits to living in the Mile High city, but the effect of the sun on vehicle paint is not one of them. If you’re looking for ways to protect your vehicle’s paint in the summer heat, there are a few things you can do.  And, if all else fails and you need shiny new car paint and refinishing, we can help!

Limit Sun Exposure  

Like most things, when continually exposed to sunlight, your vehicle’s paint will start to fade. This takes quite a bit of sun exposure, but one way to protect your paint in the summer heat is to keep direct sun exposure to a minimum. Park in your garage whenever possible and look for spots in the parking lots or on trees that offer some shade coverage. Not only does it make a difference in the comfort of your vehicle’s interior when you get back in, but it also shields your paint from unnecessary sun damage.  

 Wax  

Believe it or not, a coat of fresh wax can protect your paint from the sun, too. You can apply this yourself or have it applied at a full-service carwash location. Waxing your vehicle just adds another layer of protection between your vehicle and the harmful UV rays of the bright Colorado summer sun.  

Regular Car Paint Maintenance  

Regular maintenance is important for your vehicle year-round for a number of reasons, but as part of a regular checkup, your technician may recognize signs of wear and tear that you missed. Early awareness of potential paint peeling or fading due to sun and extreme heat exposure can help you reverse the damage and prevent any further damage as well.  

Paint Protection Coats  

If you want to add even more protection, there are paint protective coats that can be applied in order to add more protection than a simple wax or limited sun exposure. If getting out there and spending long periods of time on the road is just part of your life, this might be the best choice for you. These protective paint coatings should be applied by a professional and are likely available at your local auto body repair shop 

 Let’s face it, the elements can take a toll on your vehicle over time. Whether you’re worried about springtime hail, debris, and tree branches from those unexpected summer afternoon storms, or the heat of the summer sun, there are always extra steps you can take to keep your vehicle protected. After all, paint integrity is one of the things that protects the other parts of your car from wear and tear, so wanting to keep that paint coat as perfect as possible for as long as possible makes sense on more than just an aesthetic level. If you’re curious about a professionally-applied protection coat for your paint, give us a call at 303-344-2212 or schedule a free estimate.

Summer Car Maintenance – Key Things to Check in the Summer

Posted on: June 29th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

summer car maintenance

Even though many of us are driving less often these days, maintaining your car’s health in the summer is as important as ever. After all, the last thing you need is a breakdown when you finally get to take that road trip into the mountains after quarantining all these months. So what should you pay attention to this time of year? As your Denver auto body shop, here are a few things to consider.  

Coolant  

Coolant is important for your engine year-round, but obviously the necessity of ensuring the right coolant levels is more important in the summer. Because you’re dealing with hotter temperatures and instances where your car may have to be left out in the sun for long periods of time, your engine needs the assistance of well-maintained coolant levels to cool down properly and avoid overheating.  

A/C Status  

Just like your engine needs to be able to avoid overheating, so do you. Maintaining comfortable driving environments is important for your health as well as the health of your car. Make sure your air conditioning system is in proper working order and if it’s not, consider getting an appointment with your local repair shop as soon as possible.   

Battery Health  

Your car’s battery should always be in as good of condition as possible, but during the summer it’s especially important. Because summer heat can wreak havoc on battery conditions if your battery is already struggling, getting a “wellness check” done on your vehicle with your regular oil change during the summer is incredibly important. After all, your vehicle doesn’t do you a whole lot of good without a working battery.  

Tire Inflation  

Just like winter temperatures can cause problems with your tire’s air levels, the summer can, too. Not only are there often more sharp objects and debris on the roads during the summer that might cause a puncture in your tire, but the heat itself can cause your tires’ air levels to fluctuate. Driving on under-inflated tires in the summer is especially dangerous because it increases the likelihood of your tires overheating, and paired with the high temperatures, puts you at a much greater risk for a tire blowout. Keep in mind that tires usually lose about one pound of pressure over the course of a month from normal seepage, and aim to check on your tires’ air levels at least monthly.  

All Fluids 

Ensuring your coolant levels are appropriate in the summer is critical, but so is ensuring all fluid levels in your vehicle are topped off and ready to roll. Almost all the fluids present in your vehicle’s engine system serve as a minor coolant for your engine, so letting any one of these go too low could result in engine damage or overheating.  

Keeping things cool (outside and in), and maintaining proper tire health are your two main needs for summer vehicle maintenance, but just as with all the other regular maintenance needs (filter replacement, oil change, etc), keeping an eye on the overall health of your vehicle and the systems that help it run smoothly is as important now as ever. 

As always, if you are out and about and should have a need for auto body repair, please do give us a call or schedule your free estimate.

Best Wipers to Survive Colorado’s Rainy Season

Posted on: June 1st, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

Windshield wipers are one of those vehicle features that either make your life much easier or make it incredibly difficult. Your windshield needs to be clear in order for you to see the road ahead of you, and that’s pretty critical to driving safely. If you’ve ever had a pair of bad wiper blades before, you know how quickly that can muck up your line of sight (which can lead to the need for auto body repair). So, as we head into Colorado’s rainy season, we wanted to look at a few places for consideration when it’s time to replace your wipers. 

Beam Blade vs Bracket Type 

Beam blade and bracket-type wipers are the two main categories of wipers you’ll find on the market. Bracket types are often a bit cheaper, but because the wipers are attached to a metal frame, the way they wipe your windshield can get far less effective when exposed to snow and icy conditions. This is less of a consideration for the rainy season, but a beam blade wiper typically has a better ability to adhere to the curvature of your windshield, making it more effective in most cases. 

Pay Attention to Fit 

Even the “best” wipers on the market aren’t going to do a darn thing for your vehicle if they aren’t the right size for your make and model. Pay attention to fit when buying new wipers so you can ensure a clear and full field of vision no matter what the weather. If you’re not sure what fit to look for, a quick Google search of “your make and model + windshield wiper size” ought to do the trick. 

You Don’t Need Fancy Features 

There are a number of wipers out there that offer a host of new and innovative features, but we like to make it clear that those are simply added perks that you can choose if you want. However, you don’t need them to have effective wipers that keep your windshield clear against even harsh weather. However, if you’re hankering for some heated wipers to make your winter days easier, well, we can’t say we blame you. 

Consider Wiper Lifespan 

When looking at your options, remember that your wiper blades should last you a decent amount of time. Check on any warranty options and search around to see what the average span of a windshield wiper’s life is. You don’t want to buy the perfect wipers for the rainy season while forgetting that they will also need to perform in the winter, or vice versa. 

At the end of the day, the best wipers for your vehicle are going to be ones that fit well and have the features you desire. Their number one job is keeping your line of sight clear of water and snow during inclement weather – keeping you safe. If, however, you find yourself needing a Denver auto body shop, please reach out to us for a free estimate. 

Car Sanitation Tips – Beat COVID

Posted on: May 4th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

COVID Car Cleaning Tips

We’re living in a whole new world these days, and as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to impact our communities all across the nation, it’s important to do as much as we can to keep ourselves and our environments safe and clean. Even though many of us are driving less and staying home more these days, our vehicles are still an essential part of our lives, and therefore should also be an important part of our COVID prevention plans. If you’re not sure how to keep your vehicle as safe as possible, our collision repair experts have a few tips to consider. In fact, when we return a car from auto body repair, we thoroughly sanitize it following many of these same protocols and more.

Sanitize Your Interior

Sanitizing the interior of your vehicle might seem like a daunting task, but it’s an excellent place to start. If you’re unsure of which cleaning agents to use, based on the interior fabric of your vehicle, do a little research. For most of the cars, isopropyl alcohol is a safe disinfectant to use. If you have a leather interior, warm soap and water should do the trick, and for all surfaces on your vehicle we recommend using a microfiber cloth. It does a phenomenal job at trapping dust, dirt, and other microbial agents without the fear of scratching anything in your vehicle. We also suggest wearing gloves the first time you perform this interior sanitizing.

Don’t Overdo it With Water

If you have a cloth interior, your cleaning protocols will look a little different. On top of sanitizing your interior with the proper cleaning agents, you want to make sure you don’t use too much water. With a cloth interior, you run the risk of the water seeping through to the cushion beneath. This can not only promote mold growth, but in the event of a super-soak, can also potentially damage some of the electrical components within the seat as well.

Prioritize Cleaning

When you’re sanitizing your vehicle’s interior, we recommend starting with and focusing the bulk of your attention on those high touch areas such as the steering wheel, the gear shifter, the knobs and dials, the air conditioning vents, door handles, etc. Wherever people most come into contact with your vehicle, these should be priority number one. Then, work your way through the rest of the fixtures and components of your vehicle’s interior until you’ve cleaned it all.

Know Your Risk

How often you repeat the interior sanitizing process will depend on a few factors for you, individually. First, how many people are in your vehicle? Ideally, the answer is no one you aren’t already quarantining with, but for families with shared cars, it may very well be more than just yourself. If you aren’t sick, and you don’t believe you’ve had anyone sick in your vehicle, this doesn’t exactly need to become a weekly priority or anything. However, the more you’re out there, running essential errands or driving back and forth to your essential job, the more people you’re coming into contact with, and the more likely it is that you may come into contact with the virus as well. Understanding you and your family’s risk factors will help you determine how frequently you feel comfortable performing this preventative measure.

Follow Personal Protocols

Once you’ve sanitized the interior of your vehicle, the best way to keep it clean is to follow all the personal protocols suggested by your local and state governments. Wash your hands before driving anywhere, and rewash them when you return home. Wear your mask in public and only leave your home for essential errands and appointments. We know things feel a little strange right now, and you might be going a little stir crazy, but the health of our communities outweighs the inconvenience. Wherever possible, we urge everyone to continue doing their part to stop the spread of the coronavirus. In the meantime, keep your vehicle clean and stay safe!

How Often Should I Wash My Car?

Posted on: February 26th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

how often to wash carOur auto body repair experts get this question all the time, but there isn’t a hard and fast rule to answer it. There are a number of things to consider, including environmental factors and personal driving habits. If you’re not sure what to consider when setting a carwash schedule, factor in the things we discuss in this article.

Paint Protection

Car washing is often about aesthetics, but it’s also about keeping your car in the best condition possible for as long as possible. While chips, wear and tear, or dulling of your vehicle’s paint might not seem like more than a cosmetic thing, that’s not always true. All of those things can contribute to the weakening of your vehicle’s exterior and may indicate larger problems on the horizon – like rust. The car paint does more than just make it look pretty – it helps protect and maintain, too.

Salt Buildup

This time of year, when the weather gets snowy and the roads get salty, buildup is one of the main concerns that brings this question about time and time again. Yes, the salt buildup can cause premature rusting on your vehicle. This means that yes, you should wash it more frequently in the winter when the weather gets bad, but it’s not an immediate or critical danger. It takes a lot of salt sitting on your vehicle for a long time to cause irrevocable damage. If you have a regular car washing routine in place, that should be sufficient enough to keep up with the salt buildup around the Front Range. Adding in an extra wash or two when the snow melts between storms isn’t the worst idea.

Facing the Elements

Snow and the salt that keeps us safe in winter weather aren’t the only things that can cause premature wear and tear to your vehicle. All year round, your vehicle faces the elements when you drive. Bright, hot sun, rain, mud, dirt, dust, rocks. It all impacts your vehicle. Understanding the impact that these elements have on your vehicle’s exterior can help you set the proper car washing cadence for your vehicle and situation. For example, if you work at home and only go out on the weekends, you’re less likely to need a car wash as often as someone who commutes an hour both ways daily and ventures out into the mountains on their off-days.

Like we said at the beginning, there isn’t a hard and fast must-follow rule when it comes to washing your car. However, we encourage owners to treat it like any other part of regular vehicle maintenance. Set a schedule and stick to it. Add “emergency” washes when you need to and conserve when you don’t. If you want a rule of thumb to follow, every two weeks would be ideal with daily usage. Keeping your vehicle clean and free of dust, debris, salt, and more extend its life and its peak performance years. As long as you’re regularly washing it, you should be good.

Best Times to Get More for Your Trade

Posted on: December 18th, 2019 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

trade in carAs you look toward 2020, it’s the time of year when people are painting themselves a picture of what the new year will hold for them, who they’ll be at the end of it. If your picture for next year includes you in a new car, you’re probably already doing some research about trading your old one in. You’ll find a plethora of information about what needs to be in order before you trade in your vehicle, but what about when you should plan to trade it in? Are there certain times of the year where you can make more for your trade-in than others? Do you need to act fast or should wait a little while? Here are some things to consider before you rush your vehicle to the nearest dealership to trade it in.

After You’ve Done Your Research

The best time to trade your vehicle in, really, is when it’s not dire. When you don’t need to. This gives you the time you need to do some research, to figure out what you’re looking for and what you’ll need to get there. It also allows you to understand what you can expect to get for your vehicle, and if there are any ways for you to increase the value of your vehicle before you turn it in.

Not Right Now

We’re about to hit the heart of winter, and unfortunately, that means you’re not likely to get top dollar for your trade-in this time of year. Spring and summer are better choices for many reasons. At the end of the year, in the throes of the holiday season, people are stressed, budgets are tight, and Black Friday purchases take out a large chunk of the discretionary income that might have gone to vehicle purchases in the first place. In the spring and summer, the market is higher, people are enjoying driving more, and are often in a better place financially to consider a purchase like this.

Before the Next Model Year

There’s a lot of value in selling your vehicle before it’s another model year old. A 2018 vehicle sells a lot better before the 2019 models are out. That stands true for vehicles further removed from their “new” status, too. Potential buyers take the model year into consideration for a number of reasons. They may be looking for a newer technological feature, they may be looking for something more easily serviced, or they may only want a vehicle with a certain number of years under its belt. If you’re looking to sell your vehicle in the next year, make sure you’re aware of when your manufacturer puts out their new model years and try to trade it in before that happens.

When Market Value Is High

This one is tricky and variable, but there are a number of market value calculators out there that can help you get a better idea of where your vehicle stands. Market value is regularly fluctuating and shifting, so it’s a good idea to check it frequently as you do your research and start your decision-making process.

Trading in your vehicle for a new ride is always an exciting prospect, but you should get the best value possible when you do. Use this information to help make your trade in day a pleasant surprise instead of receiving a disappointing offer.

Insurance Savings Tips With Teens

Posted on: October 24th, 2019 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

insurance saving tipsSure, the idea of keeping your kids off the road forever might be a good one, but we all know that doesn’t work forever. So what do you do when your teen is ready to get behind the wheel and you’re crunching the numbers for what it might do to your insurance bill? Adding a teenaged driver to your family’s insurance policy can spike your rates upwards of 80% sometimes. But it doesn’t have to be such a steep increase. With a little creative thinking and some inquiries into your current insurance company (and other companies, too), you can face a much more reasonable increase. Give these things a shot and see how you shake out.

Driver’s Ed Matters

Half the reason rates increase so sharply when you add a teen onto your policy is because of the lack of experience. If your teen is taking (and passes) Driver’s Ed, there are discounts available. Completing a Driver’s Ed course proves to your insurance company that they have taken the time to not only learn, on paper, the rules of the road, but have had some time to practice them under a supervised eye, too.

Check that Report Card

That “Stay in School” slogan is good for more than just getting your kids through high school and into college. And those good grades on their report card might be worth more than a better shot at scholarships, too. Many insurance agencies offer discounts for good grades that can help lower the impact of adding your teen to your family’s policy, too.

Ask About Discount Programs

Though new drivers are unlikely to be eligible for many discounts that are available to drivers who have been on the road for awhile, they may be eligible to take part in smart driving discount programs that operate based off of a device plugged into your vehicle for 30-90 days. These programs aren’t always the best bet, but if your teen driver follows the rules of the road and doesn’t have a lead-foot problem, you could save big. Because these programs work based off data collected by the vehicles and not a rate assigned due to age, it’s your teen’s chance to shine.

Accept the Inevitable

No matter how careful your teen is on the road, you’re still likely to deal with the follies of an inexperienced driver. Saving as much money as you can is great, but there’s still a 50% chance that your teen will be one of the half that are involved in a car crash before they graduate high school. Sometimes knowing that this is a possibility (and maybe even an inevitability) can help take the pressure off you and your kid. Mistakes happen, and as long as you have insurance that can keep you covered when they do, you should be good to go.

Putting a new driver on the road is a nerve-wracking experience. It’s exciting and terrifying. Lessen the fear by knowing that even if your teen does find themselves in an accident, the team at Accurate Auto Body is here for your auto body repair to help you get back on your feet and back on the road as fast as possible.

Car Insurance Tips for The Right Coverage

Posted on: October 11th, 2019 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

Car insurance is one of those weird things in life – you know you need it, it always comes in handy when you least expect it (such as when you need an auto body shop), and chances are you pay a pretty penny out of pocket monthly for it, but you don’t necessarily understand it. If you’re looking to get coverage or maximize your current coverage, here are a few tips.

Investigate Deductibles

Deductibles are arguably one of the most confusing parts of your auto insurance coverage, but they are also the place where you can see the biggest impact on your monthly spending. Before you choose a high deductible in order to save more monthly, you should consider your driving habits. Do you go to the mountains a lot? Do you spend a lot of time on the highway, especially during high-traffic periods (i.e. rush hour)? If so, you probably don’t want a high deductible. Even something as seemingly small as a rock flying up from the highway or off the back of a truck and into your windshield can cost you way more than you anticipated if your deductible is high. Look at the last five years of your driving life. How many times have you been in the auto body or glass repair shop? This is a good idea to factor in when considering what coverage is best for you, too.

Factor in Your Vehicle

Whether you like it or not, the type of vehicle you have will impact your insurance rates. The year, make, model, and even color will have an impact on what kind of risk your auto insurance company considers you to be. Think about this when you’re looking for the best rates and see what insights you can get into which companies factor which pieces of information in which ways.

Discounts, Discounts, Discounts

Almost every top-rated (and you should always go with top-rated) insurance company out there offers a plethora of discounts and discount programs. No matter what your coverage levels, you should absolutely take advantage of the programs that make sense for you. Some discounts will be applied automatically for things like automatic payments, paperless billing, bundling auto and home insurance, even something like your status as a credit union member can save you money! Then there are performance-based discounts with things like Smart Drive with State Farm and other similar, device-monitored discount programs. By the time you’re done racking up the discounts, you might be surprised to find that you’re paying a fraction of what you thought you would be!

Don’t Skip Your Annual Rate Check

Even if you’re perfectly happy with your rates, coverage, and insurance company, we always recommend doing an annual rate check. There’s nothing wrong with shopping identical coverage across the top-rated insurance companies and seeing if there’s money to be saved by switching.

Exactly what kind of coverage works best for you will vary depending on your individual needs, but keeping these things in mind as you’re shopping or looking to increase coverage or reduce costs will help you find the right fit, for the right price.

Things Everyone Should Know About Their Car

Posted on: July 29th, 2019 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

car maintenance basicsCar Maintenance Basics

Vehicle ownership comes with a lot of responsibility. Often times, that responsibility comes down to knowing when you should take your vehicle into the professionals to keep you and everyone traveling with you (and besides you on the road) safe, but there are some things every vehicle owner should know how to do for themselves. As your auto body shop, we’re going to run through the basics you should have under your belt to help you make informed decisions about your vehicle and to keep it in the best condition possible.

Understanding Tire Pressure

Keeping your tires in the appropriate pressure range seems like it would be easy. If it looks flat, it needs air, right? Well, yes, definitely. But there are more nuances to it than that. A tire that doesn’t look flat might still be low on tire pressure, and it’s important to know not only what constitutes low tire pressure for your vehicle and tires, but also what the right range to stay in is, as well. This information should be in your manufacturer’s guide, or you can consult your favorite mechanic, but it’s important to know that an over-pressurized tire is just as, if not more, dangerous than an under-pressurized tire.

How to Change a Tire

We’ve all seen the movies. The one where a couple or a group of friends or a family winds up stranded on the side of the road because they blew a tire. It’s never a fun situation, but it’s even less fun when you don’t know what to do to get back on the road and out of the borderline-beginning-of-a-horror-movie scene. Knowing how to change a tire is not as difficult as it seems, but it’s worth learning to do correctly. Check YouTube, or again, ask your favorite mechanic, and make sure you do a practice run (or 5) before you find yourself in a situation where you need to execute the tire change quickly and correctly.

Checking Oil

Everyone should be able to check their own oil. Relying on the sticker from the oil change place isn’t always going to cut it. Those stickers run off a standard system that isn’t universally applicable to all vehicles. Some vehicles use oil faster than others. Learning your vehicles’ tendencies may take some time, but understanding how to pull the dip stick and check it for your oil level is one of those things you should do regularly. Keeping your vehicle with the proper levels of oil is an important step for overall vehicle maintenance.

Decipher the Lights

All those fancy lights on your dash that pop on and off? They mean something, and half the mystery of being a vehicle owner is figuring out what that is. Each of those indicators exist to keep you and your vehicle safe, so ignoring them is not the answer! But being able to decipher which need immediate (read: reroute to the mechanic’s shop) attention and which can wait until you can schedule an appointment should be on your to-do list if it’s not already something you know inside and out.

There are many other things vehicle owners can learn about their cars, vans, trucks, SUVs, and more that will help in varying degrees, but knowing these basics creates the perfect foundation from which to learn more (or not) depending on your interests!