Every woman needs to know how to manage basic tasks on her car – keep reading to learn the 8 things every woman should know about her car.
Before I met Alex, I knew how to do exactly three things to my car: turn it on and off, put in windshield wiper fluid, and pop open the gas cap so that the gas station attendant could fill it for me. (Gotta love New Jersey.) My dad tried for years after I got my license to teach me to change a tire, but I was so not interested. I knew nothing about cars and wanted to know nothing about cars. Let’s be honest, there is definitely a stigma around women who know a lot about cars, it just wasn’t an image I wanted for myself. (Side note: that stigma is clearly the worst and if you’re into cars, then you go, girl.)
And then I went and married a mechanic. He refused to let me drive without some basic knowledge of how a car works and how to care for it. And let’s be real, most young women are much more willing to learn from their cute boyfriend than they are their own fathers. (sorry dad!) So he taught me the need to know basics and you know what? I felt so empowered knowing that if I get into a tricky situation, I know what to do and how to handle myself. I can handle little issues that may pop up without feeling like I need to ask some random guy to help.
Some of the things I learned are very basic tasks that I feel every woman should know about her car, for both convenience and safety. So today, I’m going to share with you the 8 things I feel that every woman should know about her car!
8 Things Every Woman Should Know About Her Car
-How to turn on your hazard lights. Personally, I think this is the most important thing. It might seem silly, but your hazards are what brings attention to your car if it’s on the side of the road in the dark or let’s other drivers know that something might be off with your car and to be aware of you and/or go around you. Each car has a button (you can see a picture of mine above) that you press to turn on your hazards. This will make both your left and right blinkers flash.
-How to check your tire pressure. Being able to check your tire pressure is important for 2 reasons – one, it is very dangerous to drive with under or over inflated tires and two, it can be very costly to drive on under or overinflated tires, as they will wear quicker and unevenly, meaning they must be replaced sooner. On the inside of your driver side door, you will find the tire pressure levels recommended for your front and back tires. You can see mine above. You can check your tire pressure using either a small tire pressure gauge that you can keep in your car or by heading to your local air pump (most gas stations have them) and check using the gauge there.
-How to put air in to your tires. If you notice that your tires are low on air, you need to fill them with air ASAP. Head over to your local air pump (or invest in an air compressor – we have a portable one you can just throw in your car.) and fill the tire(s) with the appropriate amount of air. Be sure to keep an eye on any tires that needed air, as it could be a sign of a leak. You should always check you tire pressure when the temperature drops in late fall even if your light doesn’t go on, as the drop in temperate could cause a drop in pressure.
-How to refill your washer fluid. This is one of the few things my dad was actually able to convince me to let him show me. There is nothing worse (and also, it’s dangerous!) than having a windsheild full of salt from a snowstorm and realizing that you’re out of fluid. Be sure to check it regularly so that you don’t run out (and have to spend three times as much as normal at a 7/11…) when you really need it.
-How to change a tire. This may seem tedious, especially considering most of the other things every woman should know about her car are pretty small, but it’s so, so important. Alex forced me to learn, and while (knock on wood!) I’ve never had to do it myself, I am definitely comforted in knowing that I could if I was in a bind. Here is a great video showing how it’s done, as I don’t feel qualified to fully explain it myself. Just watch it a few times to get a feel for it and take note of where your spare and jack are located in your car.
-How to pop the hood. Another simple task that every woman should know. Look in your owners manual to read about how to do it for your specific car – mine has an interior latch to pull and then a little tab to press when lifting the hood. (please don’t judge my dirty car ;))
-Danger signs. Knowing what lights and sounds cannot be ignored could save your engine or even your life. I know that it’s sometimes hard to know what’s a “real” problem and what can be put off (though nothing can be put off forever! Even a small issue can build into a very dangerous and/or expensive issue.) and what needs to be immediately addressed. Here is an article from Popular Mechanics on sounds not to ignore and here is an article from AAA on lights not to ignore.
-How to check your oil. Look, I’m not going to tell you that you need to know how to change your oil. To be honest, I don’t know how and I really don’t want to know how. But what you SHOULD know is how to check your oil. You need to check your oil for a couple reasons : one, to see if it needs to be changed or if you might have some kind of issue in your engine and two, you might need to fill it. (here’s a good description of how to check you oil/what to look for.) If your oil is low, be sure to add more oil so that it hits the full line. For my car, that is the second dot while the first dot is the low line. Be sure to keep an eye out for wet spots under your car if your oil is low often to make sure it’s not leaking.
So ladies – I really, truly hope that you take these 8 things that every woman should know about her car to heart. Think of how often you drive – think of the loved one you drive around.
At the very least, think of the gorgeous shoes you could buy instead of buying a new car.
Linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud!
So tell me – do you need to work on any of these? Do you consider yourself a “car girl”? Anything I missed? Let me know in the comments!