How To Maintain Your Car For Dummies

Just a guide from a person who cares. Cars aren't cheap and no one wins when your car breaks (except maybe mechanics who make you over pay.

Click bait lol
Click bait lol

If this gets the resposes I want, I'll make a part 2!

Now, I'm not a certified mechanic or have much experience but I went to college for it, plus I'm a huge car enthusiast and have a project car myself :p so I may know a thing or two 😉 and I know this may seem obvious but keep your opinions to yourself on this one. This may not be as common sense to everyone else. My uncle inspired me to do this, he thought you put coolant into the windshield washer reservoir 😭🔫😂

P.s I would like to say, I recommend doing this stuff at home unless you don't feel comfortable doing it. You save money and you know someone isn't half assing the job 💁

1. Change your oil

[Drains oil in Spanish]
[Drains oil in Spanish]

Yes, you have to do it. Yes It's often and can be a pain in the ass but you gotta do it! Would you rather pay $30-$60 every 2,500 miles or so or pay for a whole new engine? And that's at least $2,500 for just labor and at that point you might as well invest in a new car. If you would like to know how to, look it up on YouTube. It's SUPER easy I promise!

2. Check your oil

Sorry I'm digging this caption thing lmao
Sorry I'm digging this caption thing lmao

You know that yellow circle thingy you see attached to the engine? Pull it and check the level and color of it. (Make sure the car is on level ground or else oil level will read inaccurately). First check if the oil is low. There should be a low and max mark. I recommend putting the dipstick back in and pull it back out. Just to make sure it's accurate If It's in the lower side, add some or preferably change your oil.

Make sure to have a rag on you, so you don't get dirty
Make sure to have a rag on you, so you don't get dirty

Now to check the condition of the oil. If It's yellowish and see-through, it's in good condition. If it's a little darker, you should be fine for a little longer. If It's black or close to black, you have to change it ASAP. It won't do any harm unless you keep ignoring it. Plus it feel like you're driving a stick of butter after you change it 🍑

(If the oil looks chunky and gross, take it to a mechanic ASAP, that means you have a head gasket leak and it could cause some serious damage)

3. Check your tires

Only rubbers I believe in ;)
Only rubbers I believe in ;)

Check the tread of your tires. If your tires are smooth, you might want to invest in new ones. I'm not gonna explain much as this picture does a way better job anyways 💁

How To Maintain Your Car For Dummies

If your tire pressure is low, put some air into it (obviously 😂). If you don't know how much psi, check by the driver side door panels. There will be a sticker saying how much psi is recommended for each wheel. If you can't find it anywhere, chances are it's 35-37 psi.


If you want to find out where the leak is, I use the method with the squirt bottle. Just spray water onto the whole wheel. Check carefully for bubbling. If you find bubbling on the tire, that's where your leak is coming from. I recommend to use a lot of water. The more, the easier it is to find the leak.

If you want to check your tire pressure, buy yourself a gauge. It's not hard to use and they're pretty damn cheap!

How To Maintain Your Car For Dummies

If you keep losing air on a tire(s), take it somewhere to get your tired patched up. You shouldn't plan on keeping them for long after that, it's only a temporary fix. I recommend to start saving for new (or used) tires to make sure you do have enough money for other expenses. Tires can be EXPENSIVE I know!

4. Check you coolant-antifreeze reservoir

Want a Sprite Cranberry?
Want a Sprite Cranberry?

ALWAYS MAKE SURE ENGINE IS COLD! OPENING THE COOLANT CAP WHILE THE CAR IS HOT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA!

Check if it's on the max or minimum line. If It's low, add some until it reach the max line. Make sure you got the right coolant. And make sure it says "50/50" on the bottle. That means yoj don't have to add water to it, you just pour it in.

If your coolant levels constantly go down, you may have a leak. Or a leak into the engine, which is making the level go down.

5. Check all other fluids

My blood looks like the left one
My blood looks like the left one

I put these all together because these other fluids don't have to be changed as often. Check for the power steering, brake fluid, clutch, and transmission fluid (some cars don't have a transmission dipstick tho). If any of those fluids are black, it needs to be changed. Most of these fluids are a cherry red (almost like blood).

6. Check your belts

No not your Gucci belt, ya silly! 😂 if your car makes a squeaky sound, chances are, it's the belt. Rev up the car a little bit. If you hear it going faster with the engine then that could be the belt. Check the belt for rips or if it's loose.

THERE YA GO! I know it sounds like common sense but hey I hope you learned something. Maybe on the next one, I'll show you guys how to inspect for issues or how something works :)

How To Maintain Your Car For Dummies

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Most Helpful Guy

  • or you go to your local mechanic every half year, pay a fortune for lots of expensive bullshit that you don't need but as a side product, your car will be in tip top shape XD

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Most Helpful Girl

  • I'm lucky to have my dad as a retired mechanic too. It's great, but lots of these are things people don't think about! My oil change is due in another 1k miles 😭

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What Girls & Guys Said

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  • if this is a lesson for dummies then checking lights and the basics on changing bulbs would be better than suggesting a car needs an oil change every 2500 miles... most cars today use long life oils that can give ten times that mileage with no issues... better to check the manufacturers advised service shedules than spend money thats not needing to be spent. brake fluid is a good one to keep an eye on too and keeping a washer bottle topped up

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  • Good basics!
    Tires: always look at them to see if any bulges. a prior girlfriend had a bulging tire, dangerous.
    Buy a good quality car so that is all you have to do:)

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    • 6d

      Only thing i would add is to buy realy good quality tires and in winter you should use good quality winter tiers. All season ones are peace of crap.

  • It's quite easy to do these, my daughters from a young age were shown how to do things like a full service. Change a wheel. Most of the time they don't but it is good to hear when some smart Alec tries to rip them off at the garage , they know how to do the job but don't want to get their hands dirty...

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  • I try to explain and tell my daughters those things but they are not interested and don’t listen, they don’t even know what the parking brake is or used for

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  • My dad is a retired mechanic. He doesn't charge me on fixing my car.

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  • Lol my mom needs to ready this.

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  • Good take

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  • 6d

    Change your battery every 4-5 years

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    • 6d

      Check your breaks a couple times a year as well for even wear and they aren’t too low

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    • 6d

      Same with using part time 4wd. Drive it on on snow/dirt for several miles a year to insure it always engages/dis-engages

    • 6d

      If your mechanic looks like the stripper in the pic, make sure to get it checked out often :-p

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