Let’s face it: Owning a car is a pretty sweet deal that’s not to take for granted. Which means that if you have any pride in your ride, you should have at least a basic understanding of how to operate it. Or rather how to rectify certain problems that may arise. The following skills are critical—and could even save your life, or at least your love life, one day… or even get you a girlfriend who knows.
Change a Tire
Your biggest hurdle in completing this task these days is the jack. To make them compact and take up less space, automobile manufacturers have seen to it that they’ve become trickier than ever to master. Real comforting considering the jack is what is going to be what holds up the whole damn operation. But cracking those nuts, and swapping the tire with the hole in it for the donut should be as easy as ordering one, buddy.
Jump the Battery
No guy should ask the “what is red and what is black” question after the age of eight. Jumper cables are no laughing matter, especially as they’re linking two running automobiles together, ultimately. Real recipe for disaster territory here. And resist the temptation to clank your grips together and cause that spark, like most men do.
Replace Wiper Blades
You may not want to be bothered with this miniscule task. And, sure, depending upon the model of automobile, it can actually occasionally be confusing. But when you say to your woman, “Your blades aren’t cutting it, you’ve got to be able to see out there, baby,” and proceed to swap hers out just before breakfast some Sunday morning? Well, let’s just say that what is served after breakfast will make it all worthwhile.
Pre-Set the Radio
You don’t need to be a computer tech to figure out how to have six sweet radio stations lined up, plugged in, even in a sort of order, with which to entertain your passengers. From your local radio stations to satellite fare to even music you fed into the system yourself. You’re not just the driver, you’re the DJ.
Check and Top Off Fluids
Beyond oil and even windshield wiper fluid, there are other—in many cases far more essential—fluids that are key to maintaining one’s automobile. From brakes to power steering to coolant, you should at least know how to check them and top them off if need be.
Monitor Tire Pressure
OK, so you’ve noticed how that one tire seems lower than the other three, and that every time you fill it back up it just returns to that sad, saggy state. What are you going to do about it? Take it to the garage, of course. But you need to be aware of your tire pressure in general, and to be able to check it with either analog or electronic gauges. Don’t rely on that cute pic to pop up on your dash of a tire with a tear in its eye—rely on your own eye.
Be it mud or grass, the guy whose tires are spinning and he’s just sitting there stuck in the stuff of “it’s not you, it’s me.” No, it’s you, dude. Always have a small shovel handy in the trunk for digging purposes, and maybe even some sawdust!. If it’s mud that has got you looking stupid, your rubber floor mat properly inserted beneath the tire in question might just give you that second of traction you need. But never pin it at full speed. Otherwise, you might send that mat flying into the next county.