Six Ways to Get Better and More Responsible as a First-time Car Owner

woman in her new car

woman in her new car

Being a first-time car owner combines the convenience of being able to get about at your leisure and the excitement of having access to many destinations. But beyond the essential skill of driving, you also need to learn several facets of being a responsible car owner. Here are six ways you can quickly improve.

Create a maintenance schedule

Just about everywhere you’ll check, you can find car maintenance advice that uses your mileage as a reference point. Start right away and list the different things to check and their respective intervals of inspection. From changing your oil every 3,000 to 7,000 miles to having auto gearbox treatment after 100,000 miles, you should be able to set up a reliable schedule and make these regular maintenance tasks a priority.

Join an automobile association

Buying a car is a significant expense – often second only to your home. You may be hesitant to shell out even more for membership fees, but joining a motoring organization can provide many valuable benefits to first-time car owners. You can get insurance and roadside assistance, discounts on gas and parts, and access a wealth of insider knowledge from a community of fellow owners as well as the organization’s periodic newsletter and other events.

Find a local mechanic

Even if your new vehicle is under warranty, it’s a good idea to scout around and get to know your local mechanics by reputation. While dealerships may be your preferred option for servicing your car, there may be times when a minor job isn’t worth the often lengthy waiting period. In the long run, you’ll eventually need to take your car to a mechanic, so start asking around. Fellow owners in your area who drive the same model can recommend a shop with the right expertise.

Set up security measures

Maybe you tend to forget things or grew up in a place where it was alright to leave the doors unlocked, but now that you own a car, it’s best to practice a bit more vehicle security. Get in the habit of securing your car keys and valuables. Add some anti-theft deterrents, such as steering wheel locks or wheel clamps. A GPS tracker can work with a car alarm system to give you mobile notifications instantly if anything happens.

Maintain the paint

polishing car's exterior

Taking care of your paint job isn’t just about vanity, although nobody who just bought a new car likes to see it scratched. The paint coat protects your vehicle from corrosion – substances like road salt can cause damage if the paint has been scratched off. It also prevents dirt and grime from quickly adhering to the body surface. Keep an eye out for abrasion and reapply car wax as needed.

Learn to change tires

Out of all the self-service jobs you can tackle, changing a tire is probably the most essential. After all, everyone drives around carrying a spare. You may leave other tasks to a mechanic, but a flat tire can catch you anytime – and when it does, you won’t regret practicing how to wrench out the wheel nuts and use the jack to change out your tires.

Owning a car requires a bit more than simply knowing how to drive one. Start your journey with these tips and look for others to increase your know-how along the way.

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