Whether you’ve owned a car for years or you just learned how to drive, there are plenty of things you might not know about your car. In fact, true car experts will tell you that some of the things you think you know about your car might be less than true. Plenty of things you do for your car, for example, might actually be unnecessary.
We at Engineering Insider love the thrill of getting behind the wheel, so we’re sharing a list of expert tips and tricks that you need to know.
1. Your car battery might not have to be replaced.
If you seem to be having issues with your car’s battery, your first instinct might be to have the battery replaced. Often, it’s the battery’s wires that are the problem due to corrosion. One trick people can use to fix this is pouring Coke on the wires; it helps fight the erosion. Or it might be cheaper and easier to recharge the battery instead. If you do need to replace a battery, make sure it’s new since batteries can degrade over time.
2. It’s more important to make sure you don’t run out of oil than to keep the oil clean.
If you think you have to replenish your car’s oil every 3,000 miles, you should know experts actually suggested waiting until around 7,500 miles, with some professionals claiming it’s safe to wait for around 10,000 miles. When it comes to car oil, it’s more important to make sure your car doesn’t run out rather than if it’s dirty. Oil usually evaporates in modern cars anyway.
3. Check for rust on your brake pads.
When you hear your car brakes making a screeching sound, your first instinct is to go get them replaced. Normally, it might be better just to have the brakes treated for rust which can be easily removed by brushing, scraping or even blasting it. Generally, brake pads don’t need to be replaced until they’re 90% worn down.
4. Be careful with free inspections.
When your mechanic tells you what your car needs and what it doesn’t, you probably don’t want to question a professional. Unfortunately, there are mechanics out there who are more concerned with assigning problems and charging you lots of money, even when you took your car to a “free inspection.” Luckily, there are some signs to look out for.
For one, if they claim a part needs to be replaced, a trustworthy mechanic will show you the part and explain why it can’t be fixed. A mechanic who just expects you to blindly replace it might want to add to your bill. Even language can be an issue. Be careful with mechanics who claim problems are too complicated to explain, they try to scare you into thinking something is needed or even try to bully you against questioning them.
Always try to get a second opinion and remember, when dealing with a suspicious mechanic, you can always get a car towed to get a second opinion.
5. Don’t ask your mechanic to rotate your tires.
When it comes to getting your tires rotated, don’t ask your mechanic. Not only is it hard to tell if they have actually been moved, but many specialists don’t believe it actually helps the tires improve speed. If needing your mechanic to rotate your tires becomes unavoidable for whatever reason, mark them with chalk to ensure that they have actually been rotated.