While driver’s education may teach a person how to drive, they don’t always teach everything a person needs to know about their car. Part of this is because things differ from brand to brand and model to model. Here are 11 different things that all drivers need to know how to do in order to keep their car running longer. These things can also help you in the case of an accident or emergency situation!
1. Know When Your Oil Needs Changing
This is an obvious one that every car owner should know. While the rule of thumb used to be every three months or around 5,000 miles, that’s no longer true for all new cars. Read your manual to know when your vehicle’s oil change is due, we recommend setting the date on your calendar. If you’re not sure when you should change your oil, some signs to look for are if your oil looks black & gritty, your engine sounds louder than usual, or you notice the oil level drops. Some newer luxury models will also provide you with an alert when you need to change your oil.
2. Know What Your Check Engine Light Means
While it may not always mean you’re going to destroy your car if you continue to drive it, in many cases, the check engine light does indicate a major problem. There’s a new device though that can actually save you thousands of dollars in car repairs. It’s called FIXD and plugs into cars manufactured after 1996. If your “check engine light” comes on it will tell you the exact reason why. This is great because it means that mechanics won’t be able to lie to you in the hopes of taking more of your hard earned money (you’d surprised by how many do). In the United States alone, this product has done over $50,000,000 in sales in 2017.
3. Take Toothpaste To Cloudy Headlights
After many miles on the road, your car’s headlights are going to get scuffed up and cloudy. It might not majorly affect their performance, but it certainly doesn’t look good. Smear a little bit of toothpaste on a clean rag and start scrubbing the headlights. It contains mild abrasives that can remove a thin layer from the headlight housing and fill in any tiny scratches. Toothpaste is an easy and convenient compound to get your headlights clear again.
4. No Tickets? Get A Lower Auto Insurance Rate
You might think you’re already paying a low auto insurance rate, but recent research shows that only 5% of Americans over the age of 30 are paying less than $50 per month for car insurance. If you’re currently paying more than $50 per month, and have had no accidents or tickets in the past two years, you can probably secure a much lower car insurance rate. The best way to do that is to compare quotes from multiple insurers – let them compete for your business. In fact, there’s a new website that allows you to do just that – it’s called Best Quotes Auto Insurance. Once you fill out the form on their website they’ll provide you with multiple quotes you can choose from. If you’re still not satisfied, you can always call up the major car insurance companies and let them know you’re looking for better offers and that you have a clean driving abstract.
5. Keep RoadSide Hero In Your Car
For anyone who has ever been involved in a serious car accident, you know just how traumatic it can be. In the United States alone nearly 40,000 people per year are killed in car accidents. That’s why it’s imperative that every American have the RoadSide Hero in their cars. It has 9-in-1 Multi-Function life saving tools. It can function as a belt/rope cutter, glass breaker, hammer, compass, mounting magnet, strobe/emergency light, powerbank and solar panel. This is the ultimate tool that should be in every vehicle.
6. Free Frozen Locks With Hand Sanitizer
Even if it’s only parked out front, getting from the front door to your car in the middle of a harsh winter can be pretty miserable. It’s worse if you get there only to find the door locks are frozen shut. Hand sanitizer is your key to getting inside. The alcohol works to thaw the ice, so you can hop in and get the heater turned on high.
7. Get a Portable Handheld Car Starter
We have all experienced that moment where you turn the key and nothing happens. Nothing can be more annoying, especially when you are in a rush! Using a portable car starter is far quicker than having to find someone else to help you get the car started and finding jump cables to make it happen.
This portable car starter is the next-generation of rechargeable 4-in-1 multi-function power banks. It is compact enough to store in a glove box or under a seat when not in use, ensuring that drivers anywhere have a power option to start their vehicle in a number of situations without the need to rely on towing services or the generosity of a jumpstart from a stranger.
8. Change Your Air Filter Every 6 Months
If you want to help increase your fuel efficiency, make sure you change your air filter every six months or as recommended in your owner’s manual. A lot of people often neglect doing this, and they find that they just aren’t getting the fuel efficiency they were promised by their car manufacturer.
9. Transform Night Driving With These Night Sight Glasses
Did you know that the vast majority of car accidents happen at night and right before dawn? A lot of that has to do with glare and the problems with vision many people experience.These Night Sight HD glasses promise to reduce night driving glare and eye strain, and dramatically improve seeing at night during snow or rainy conditions. They lets you see enhanced colors, are durable, lightweight and fully equipped with polarized lenses. Unlike clip-ons they protect your eyes from all sides, and you just slide them over your existing prescription lenses.
10. Extend Your Car Warranty
While most manufacturers offer factory warranty coverage on new vehicles, they typically expire within 3 years or after 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Has your car’s auto warranty expired? Purchasing extended auto coverage offers the same peace of mind as a no-cost factory plan without the restrictions. That means if your car breaks down, malfunctions or requires a replacement component, you could enjoy huge savings on repair costs without the new car price tag. Make sure you shop around for rates on this.
11. Keep A RoadSide Emergency Kit In Your Car
Let’s face it, your car may end up breaking down at some point. You can keep an already put together kit like the Ultimate Auto Emergency Kit or you can make your own. Just make sure to include food/water, a flashlight, an emergency survival blanket, jumper cables, reflective triangle or LED light, oil funnel, a safety vest, duct tape and AAA batteries. Their auto kit comes with all these products and more included.
Bonus #1: Escape A Sinking Car
Imagine for a second that you are in the unfortunate position of being in a sinking car, here’s what you should do. The first thing you want to do is try to roll down at least one window before the car is completely submerged so that you can climb out or open the doors. Then you want to make sure that your seat belt is off. If you’re not able to roll down the window, you can use the RoadSide Hero as a hammer to break free. Assuming you don’t have the RoadSide Hero though, you can also take out the headrest from your seat and use the metal prongs to hit the window. Make sure you hit the window at the corners rather than the center (as that will disperse the force). If you’re inside a sealed car it will be extremely difficult to open any door because the outside pressure is higher than the inside, thus holding the door closed. What you may have to do is start a leak, like maybe opening the air vents, and then wait until the car fills with enough water until the inside and outside pressures are equalized and THEN open a door. Make certain that you breath as long as you can and then take final deep breaths as the inside finally fills with water. Most people should never have to use this knowledge, but it’s always better to be prepared.
13. Fill Window Damage With Nail Polish
Small stones and other road debris can leave chips and cracks in your car’s windows. Oftentimes a crack can grow, meaning you need to shell out for an expensive window replacement. Try filling in window damage with (clear) nail polish. Carefully apply a thin layer to the damaged area. When it dries, it will be almost completely invisible, and might even help prevent a crack from growing. The money you’ll save against a whole new window is worth it, but use this advice with caution.
14. Use A DashCam To Record The Unexpected
Have you ever been easin’ on down the road when BAM! Some knucklehead runs a red light and hits you? The police show up and it’s your word against Knucklehead’s. Never again! This little windshield-mounted cam’s got your back. And your front. And if somebody rolls into you, you’ve got the video in hand to show the police. Or the judge! A DashCam can save you thousands of dollars in legal fees and lawsuits when it proves the other driver was wrong—in vivid color. You can even swing it around to record inside the car as well, and it picks up audio too. With more and more distracted drivers on the roads these days, it really is important everyone has a quality DashCam for those just in case moments. The DashCam Pro HD can keep your insurance premiums low and minimize any legal fees or charges from accidents, insurance fraud or hit-and-runs.
And if someone harasses you at your window, just turn the camera towards them to deter a potential assault or theft on the spot. Many folks also love using a DashCam to track their teen’s driving or capture breathtaking scenery on road trips.
15. Use A Plunger to Remove Small Dents
Those annoying small dents in the car can amount to thousands of dollars to fix up! But a simple hack that works for most small dents is to use a toilet plunger by placing it over the area of the dent and getting the air pressure tight and giving it a nice little tug. Works for small and medium sized dents most of the time!
16. Huddy – Transform Your Smartphone Into A Heads Up Display
This brilliant new device turns your smartphone into a heads up display for your car. It’s called Huddy – and although it was only just released, it’s taken the Internet by storm. All you have to do is take it out of the box and place it on your dash, place your smartphone on top of it and let it do all the navigating while you drive. It’s a transparent display that works in any weather, day or night. It also fits any smartphone no matter the size, and it’s slip resistant. Best of all, there are tons of apps available that you can use to see traffic conditions, a speedometer, street maps & much more. You can use it in any car – it has an ultra-grip mat that leaves no messy residue on the dash. We can see this being one of the most purchased gifts for the upcoming Holidays, so check it out while it’s still available.
17. Park Your Car Facing East to Defrost Windscreen in the Morning.
Although it seems simple you can save some considerable time in the morning. If you live in a place where frost is a big problem on winter mornings and leave your car parked outside then this is for you.
Whenever you can make sure you park your car facing east. As the sun rises in the east you’re using the suns warmth to defrost the ice on your windscreen rather than you having to stay outside in the cold and scrape it off yourself. With this trick you should be able to use your windscreen wipers to do the not so heavy lifting for you. Who doesn’t want a little bit of added comfort on a cold winters morning?
18. Use an Organizer to Organize the Clutter
Get a car backseat multi-pocket organizer, storage, cooler and tablet holder. This is perfect for every car owner. It’s equipped with a cooler so you can keep your beverages cold on road trips or anytime you’re driving.
It’s also ideal for parents to store food and drinks for their kids. It detaches very easily so you can take it with you after you park. It also has a nice transparent compartment for any tablets or smart phones so your kids can stay entertained without having to slouch their necks.
19. Use A Roadside Emergency Flare
Being stuck on a highway with a puncture or engine problem is most peoples ideas of a bad day. The Haylo Safety flare is something everyone should have with them. The Safety Flare offers the highest level of roadside safety for on-the-road situations and more! It can be used as a road flare and emergency beacon. It’s perfect for emergency use, camping/outdoors, road flares etc. Plus it is shatterproof, rainproof (IP55) and it can float so you can take it anywhere. 10 different lighting modes include spotlight (6 hours), double blink (9 hours), double pulse (9 hours), single blink (38 hours), rotate (9 hours), SOS rescue morse code (15 hours), alternate (9 hours), solid on high (5 hours), solid on low (28 hours) and 2 flashlight (9 hours).
It’s easy to use: Just press the button and hold to turn on and cycle through the different lighting options. The super bright array can be seen up to 1 mile at night and can also provide additional protection during the day as well. The strong magnetic backing allows the Halo to adhere to your vehicles hood.
Bonus #1. Use A Tracker to Never Lose Your Keys Again
How many times in a crazy rush have you misplaced your keys and frantically searched everywhere for them! When you attach this coin-size tracking device to an item and lose the item, you have a 20,000-times chance of getting it back. The accompanying app enlists the network of 20,000 XY Find It users to locate your lost keys or lost bag, bike or even dog. You can also track your lost wallet (or whatever) yourself. The XY Find It app displays how far you are from your keys and it will sound the alarm to help you pinpoint its exact location. If you realize you left them in another location, all other XY Find It users in the network are notified, and when one passes your missing article, you’ll get an update sent to your phone. What if you can’t find your phone? Use XY Find It to ring it, even if it’s on silent mode, and you’ll find your phone fast. XY Find It helps you keep your stuff….especially if you’re a chronic (keys/wallet/bike/car/bag) misplacer.