As a college student, if you recently purchased a car, chances are it’s the first one you’ve ever bought. Buying a car is an exciting endeavor. Your own car means freedom, independence, and tons of fun. It also means new responsibilities. Check out this guide full of tips for first-time car owners so you learn how to properly care for your new car, even if you bought it used.
Get regular maintenance
Cars require upkeep to stay functional and keep you safe on the road for years to come. You’ll need to regularly perform maintenance or have maintenance performed on your car. Cars need oil changes, wiper fluid, steering fluid, gas, brake tune-ups, and much more. Be sure to keep a log of when and where you got maintenance performed so you can easily keep up on it in the future. Plus, you’ll have information on previous maintenance in case something goes wrong.
Learn how often things need to be done
Different maintenances need to be performed at different times. Gas must be filled every time it’s nearing empty on the tank. If you’re driving in a colder region, the tank should be kept above one-fourth of the way full to ensure freezing doesn’t become an issue. Tires should be replaced every six years or every 40,000 miles, so make sure you look into good tire shops to replace wheels if your newly purchased used car is nearing that milestone.
Flip through your owner’s manual
A car owner’s manual is a surprisingly helpful resource. Although it may be a pain to flip through, perusing it can only help you learn about your car, how to properly maintain and care for it, and any cool features you wouldn’t know about otherwise. Keep the manual in your car in case a question pops up. Many people choose to keep this in their glove compartment.
Find a mechanic you trust
Finding a mechanic that you trust to do good work and charge you accordingly, especially as a young college student, can be tricky. Ask friends and trusted relatives for advice and recommendations. It’s best to have a mechanic near school and wherever home happens to be, just in case something happens while you’re on break or while you’re at school. Don’t be afraid to ask your mechanic questions; any good mechanic will answer and encourage you to learn about and better understand your car’s needs.