5 Things Every Girl Should Know About Cars

MHUB - December 19, 2014

When it comes to cars, it’s easy for us ladies to take the back seat and write it off as something for the boys to take care of. It doesn’t have to be confusing! Pop the bonnet and figure it all out for yourself with these top five things to do to keep your car going from A to B.

Checking the oil:

Without oil you’ll fry your engine so make sure you check to see if you have enough or need to change it. Both your wallet and car will thank you. It’s best to check the oil when the engine is warm as different temperatures will give you different readings. All you need to do is park your car on a level surface, turn it off, pop the hood, find the dipstick (a long piece of metal sticking out of the engine with a loop at the end, not your boyfriend) and pull it out. Wipe off the oil with a rag then put the dipstick all the way back in then out to get your reading.

Changing a tire:

You can’t always rely on playing the damsel in distress routine so make sure you know how to change that flat! If you haven’t done this before it’s a good idea to have a test run. Make sure you apply your hand break and place the jack on firm ground, as flat as possible. Remove the nuts on the wheel while the cars weight is still on the ground. Jack the wheel high enough to fit the spare tyre on, remove the nuts and remove the wheel. Lift the new wheel on and screw the nuts back on – starting with the bottom one.

When the nuts are finger tight, lower the car and tighten them properly by standing on the wrench handle to give a light bounce – you don’t want to loose your wheel when you start driving!

Check tyre pressure:

All tyres deflate over time, so it’s important to make sure that you check your tyre pressures regularly. When it comes to tyre pressure there are a few simple guidelines you should always follow.

 Make sure that your tyres are inflated to the vehicle manufacturers recommended pressures. Tyre pressures should only be checked when the tyre is cold. This is because the tyre heats up when it has been in use which can give an incorrect air pressure reading. Always ensure that dust caps are applied tightly to each tyre valve. Dust caps prevent dirt and moisture entering the valve mechanism causing damage and also prevent sudden tyre deflation through the valve. Remember to check your spare tyre as well. Check for any signs of irregular wear and tear on your wheels.

Brake fluid:

While you’re checking out all your other odds and ends, it might be an idea to also check your brake fluid (brakes being a rather handy addition to your car and all). All you need to do is find the brake master cylinder which is usually located under the hood on the driver’s side of the car toward the back. This little baby is rather small at about 6 by 2 inches and rectangular with a plastic reservoir and rubber cap on top and small metal tubes leading from it. Make sure the fluid’s up to the full line and top up if needs be – just make sure you check your owner’s manual to find out what grade of brake fluid to put in.

Get covered with Insurance:

You should never, ever even think about hitting the road without any insurance. Think about it; if you happen to crash into someone else's car and you don't have car insurance, would you be able to pay for all the damage? Really, you can't afford not to have insurance. AA Insurance's Third Party cover is a great essential for any nzgirl. If you have Third Party cover, you won't get lumbered with the bills to repair the other car or damaged property. It is the most affordable option for car insurance, and you can obtain AA Insurance's Third Party cover quickly and easily, online. It only takes five minutes and it could save you from a lifetime of debt. Remember, even if your car isn't worth much, the one you hit might be! So visit the AA Insurance website now to get a quote, get yourself covered and hit the road!