So, you've gotten your hands on your first ever vehicle; congratulations! But now, you've got to take care of it. After all, first cars or motorcycles are often second hand and extremely budget-friendly, and you might have to put in a little more maintenance to ensure it runs just as well 10 years on from when it first hit the market.
But how do you go about doing that? Well, we've got some tips for you below to keep in mind, especially if you're a maintenance beginner in general - your vehicle (and your bank account) need you to step up!
Being able to cruise down those summer roads comes with a price! (Pexels Image - CC0 Licence)
Keep it Clean
First thing's first: you need to keep your vehicle clean. It's important for both the look and function of your car and/or motorcycle. Indeed, in vehicles like motorcycles, too much dirt and debris can leave the engine running at much lower capacity, because those spark plugs can get really clogged up!
Make sure you get into your vehicle once a month and give it a scrubbing down. It'll smell better, look better, and it might even use less fuel, thanks to the lesser weight load on long and short drives.
Look After the Battery
The battery is a special case, in terms of knowing and looking after what's under the bonnet. Your battery can run low very quickly, if you misuse it, and you need to know what's going to run it down over time. Usually, a car battery will last you up to 5 years, with at least 3 years of good use over its lifetime. However, this isn't always the case.
Maybe there's a dodgy fuse in there ruining the connection. Maybe you're not driving for long enough. Even just using your lights and leaving them on when the car is off can really ruin the battery's lifespan! So, if you're used to using the overheads, it might be time to cut back on the habit, otherwise you'll need to shop here to pick up a new battery to power your vehicle.
Learn the Basics of Maintenance
The basics of car maintenance aren't actually all that hard to pick up, as long as you're willing to watch a 5 minute Youtube tutorial and keep the right tools about you. But what should you learn?
Well, you're going to need to learn how to change a tire, how to use a carjack, how to check over your car for damages, and even just how to use those jump cables you're always told to keep in the boot, at the least. Make sure you keep the number of the breakdown service you use on you at all times when driving, and have a map in the side of your door in case of emergency.
Your first vehicle is going to need some tender, loving care from time to time. So, just make sure you're capable of giving it some!