Top Things Women Should Know About Car Care

Posted by in Travel + Adventure on / 27 Comments

We just sold our 1998 Cadillac Deville (great car, but it had over 225,000 miles on it!!), and bought our first car made in the current century (I’ll tell you about it in an upcoming post).

Top 5 Things Women Should Know About Car Care | Girl Unfurled

We’ve always done our best to take good care of our vehicles, but to be honest, we just don’t know that much about car care. I grew up around cars until I was 12, but I only know enough to be dangerous, and Nick has just never really been interested in mechanics. Since I am, I figured learning a bit more about what women should know about car car would be smart.

*This is a guest post, featuring Barbara Terry of Cars.com*

Heading into spring cleaning season, there is no better time to consider tuning up your car by making sure you are equipped with everything you need to drive safely and maintain your vehicle’s condition over time.

Top 5 Things Women Should Know About Car Care | Girl Unfurled

The words “expensive” and “stressful” are often top of mind when car owners think about servicing their vehicles. National automotive expert Barbara Terry says that doesn’t have to be the case. Barbara is partnered with Cars.com to provide the information people need to make confident decisions when it comes to dealing with their cars.

Top Things Women Should Know About Car Care:

Educate yourself. The more you know about your car, the better off you will be. Knowledge is power. Get to know your vehicle, so that you are familiar with it and the owner’s manual, which will come in handy in understanding basic maintenance needs, so that you are well-prepared before walking into a service center.

Keep maintained. Keep current on your vehicle maintenance, as per your owner’s manual – this will help to minimize the repairs that may be necessary. Some common areas to maintain include:

  • There is a simple hack for checking your tire pressure: Take a standard US penny with Abe Lincoln’s head on it. Insert the penny into a space between the tread of the tire. If you can see the top of his head, it’s time for a refill.
  • When to change your oil and what type to use: You should change your oil every 6 months, or about every 3,000 miles. The intervals vary by manufacturer, so consult your owner’s manual and locate what type of oil to use.
  • Radiator fluid levels: Your radiator should always maintain a half-antifreeze/half-water mix. You can see the level of the fluid through your overflow container.

Find the right service provider and know what you should be paying ahead of time. Walking into a service center can be a daunting experience. Fortunately, Cars.com’s new “Service & Repair” feature helps you understand how much you should be paying to service your car while also providing details on service centers in your area with consumer reviews to help you make the right decision. No resource existed like this before.

Keep an emergency survival kit. Every driver should keep an emergency car kit in their car with a variety of items in case you experience a breakdown. You can never be too careful. Some of the smartest items to include are:

  1. Box of Band-Aids, gauze and aspirin
  2. A flashlight with extra batteries
  3. Can of Tire Fix never hurts for a quick, temporary fix to that annoying flat tire
  4. You’ll always need jumper cables or a jump box, road trip or not, for a dead or weak battery
  5. Blanket in case you break down on the side of the road and it’s freezing outside

Happy and safe driving!

Top 5 Things Women Should Know About Car Care | Girl Unfurled

-Barbara

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I asked Barbara to share her expertise, and all opinions express prior to the start of her guest post are my own.

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27 comments on “Top Things Women Should Know About Car Care”

  1. Christi said:

    Great tips! I’ll admit I’m pretty ignorant when it comes to car care – I depend on my husband to know these things! But it makes sense that I should be knowledgeable about our vehicle too!

    1. Yah, you really just never know when you might have to be the one to know! Same reasoning behind a husband being competent with the stuff his wife usually handles. We’re working on that balance, still.

  2. Robin (Masshole Mommy) said:

    I use pennies as well to check my tire pressure LOL! Also, making sure to have routine checkups is always good!

  3. Dee Mauser said:

    Nice tips. One more tip, never let your gas tank go below 1/4 of a tank and check the tread on your car frequently.

    1. Good call, on the gas tank level!

  4. These are great tips. I always make sure to have an emergency kit on hand in my car.

  5. Lisa said:

    These are really great tips for women! I lucked out and had a father that was a mechanic so he made sure I knew a lot of stuff.

  6. Allie D. said:

    These are great tips. I had to learn all these things when I got my first car. Want to maintain my car to make it last as long as possible.

  7. This is a great post. I know more about cars than most of my friends, and that has saved many of them. The basics are good for everyone to know- keeps us safe AND keeps money in our pockets!

    1. Exactly! Knowing how to care for your vehicle is useful is so many overlapping areas.

  8. Jesica H said:

    Great tips! Keeping your car in shape is so important! I once had a girl at work her tire was so low she was almost on the rim and she was so whatever about! I totally freaked her out by explaining just how dangerous that was!

    1. Yikes! Let’s see: safety hazard, bad for her car, poor gas mileage…the list goes on! Glad you schooled her.

  9. Shauna said:

    What great tips. Thankfully, I used to work in a service station so I know a lot and if I need help I have many friends who are mechanics on hand 🙂

  10. These are awesome tips. Pre-kids, I used to change my own tires and my own oil. 🙂

    1. I still don’t know how to change the oil. I keep asking, but the only people I know who can teach me aren’t really interested. Someday! 🙂

  11. Everyone needs to know how to change THEIR tire. Not just a tire, but the one on their car. They are all so different.

    1. Yes! So, so, so true. Our first car that we bought together, the dealer told us a spare was included – and it was, but it wasn’t for our vehicle. We discovered this at 3am in October during a blizzard, on the side of the highway in the middle of nowhere, Wyoming.

  12. Congratulations on your new car. You are so on point with these tips. There is nothing worse than having something happen and your are not prepared.

    1. Thanks, Sarah! I’m loving it. ♥

  13. Lori said:

    I too have a car with over 200,00 miles on it, but it still going strong. I make car emergency kits for everyone that I care about!

    1. That’s a smart gift! I’ll have to keep that in mind.

      I’d have kept the Caddy until it dropped dead, but we can’t afford insurance on two cars, right now, and have to have ours insured to keep them at our townhouse. I’ll miss the old bird!

  14. Aimee SMith said:

    What? That penny trick is so cool! I am saving this post!

    1. Awesome! 🙂 I’m so glad you found it useful! The penny trick is also useful for measuring your tread; just do it when the air pressure is good, and it can help you see if your tread is thin enough to need to replace your tires.

  15. Lena said:

    My easiest thing is to let my husband handle it. However, I do know I need to know more about my car

  16. Gabriel said:

    Getting several quotes unless you have a mechanic you really trust. Its crappy to think that even now, there are wrenches out there that will assume they can overcharge or snow you because you’re a woman.

    1. I absolutely agree. It’s very aggravating that some people will attempt to rip you off because you’re a woman, but it’s a reality that we have to be able to handle. I have a suspicion I got less of a deal on our new car for that exact reason; it wasn’t hostile, but he asked more than once if I was sure I didn’t want to go get my husband, and he really wouldn’t negotiate at all (unusual for a dealership, but since it was still a good deal, I just rolled my eyes and went with it). It’s hard when the person being sexist is otherwise really pleasant.

  17. Ann Bacciaglia said:

    These are great car care tips. I make sure i keep my cars well maintained.

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