Investments aside, buying a car is one of the biggest investments one can make after buying a house. Despite the large initial outlay and loans that everyone needs to get before they could even drive the newly handed over car home, many car owners may not know their cars as well as they should.
While we may not know everything about our cars, here are the top 5 things that we think every car owner should at least know about our cars!
1. Year of manufacture, make of the car and its model
This may sound like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised that most people do not know this information! Often they either do not know or are mistaken on the year or the model, which can lead to bigger mistakes. Depending on the car’s year, make and model, different fluids, parts, and accessories are required to repair and maintain your car. As such, it is critical to have this correct information on hand.
2. Vehicle Identification Number
The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is your car’s fingerprint, its unique identification. It is a 17-digit number that identifies your car’s manufacture date, place, make, model (now you know where to find this critical information that we have just discussed!), engine size and some other information relevant to your car. While you may not need to memorise this 17-digit number, you need to know where to find this number. Here’s a tip: Stand outside of the vehicle on the driver’s side and look at the corner of the dashboard where it meets the windshield. Your VIN is useful when talking to mechanics and insurance companies. It is definitely a good point of reference to look up information if you want to purchase a car or buy parts for it.
3. Tyre pressure
How often do you check your tyre pressure? Most Malaysians tend to check our tyres right before we go on long journey travels only. We never make a trip to the petrol station just to pump our tyres. When we do go to the petrol station, the weather will always be ‘too hot’ or just don’t feel like doing it today. However, ignoring our car tyres will lead to a high likelihood of getting flat tyres, as well as wearing our tires out much faster. Stop this bad habit now because it can not only put our lives and other road users’ lives in danger, but also cost us a bomb to replace them. On the flip side, make sure to never overfill your tyres as well!
4. Car Maintenance Schedule
The best way to keep your car running well is adhering to your car’s maintenance schedule. Your schedule will indicate important timelines for changing your oil, when to check your car fluids and when to rotate your tires (front and back). Following strictly to the car’s maintenance schedule ensures the car’s optimal performance and longevity. The car’s maintenance schedule can either be found within the owner’s manual or in a separate booklet that comes with the said owner’s manual. Make sure you refer to it every now and then, and don’t miss those important dates!
5. Engine light
Ever wonder what every light on the dashboard means? We often experience major anxiety when any of the dashboard lights come on. We get nervous because we dreaded what the mechanic would say about the cause of the alert. Before you freak out unnecessarily, you can refer to the owner’s manual to learn about what each dashboard light means. However, they may not express how important or insignificant certain lights are.
With these basic understanding of our car, we will feel more in control of our car. This also enables us to talk to a mechanic more confidently and make better choices for your car’s maintenance. Grab your car’s maintenance manual now and know your car better today!