While it may sound sexist, the truth is that compared to men, many women do not possess the necessary maintenance skills required to keep a car running smoothly. This is perhaps the reason why more women than men are cheated or overcharged by mechanics. The good news here is that many of the maintenance skills you need are easy to learn. Here is our list of car maintenance skills every female driver should know.
How to Jump a Car
A dead battery can leave you stranded in the most awkward of places. Knowing how to jump a car can be a crucial skill to have, especially if you routinely travel with the kids in the car. To jump a car, you need jumper cables, and a battery that is not dead, usually from another car. There are also portable jumper kits, but they work the same as using a battery.
The first thing to do is turn both cars off and ensure they are in neutral or park gear. Next, connect the clippers on the red cable to the red terminal of the battery that is not dead (secondary battery). Now connect the other end of the red cable to the red terminal of your dead battery (primary battery).
Connect the black cable to the black terminal of the secondary battery and the other end to an unpainted surface on the car’s body. The hood works well. Start the car with the secondary battery, wait for a few minutes, and then try to start your car.
The driver of the secondary car can rev their engine to push more power to the battery as you start your car for better chances. If it does not work, wait for a few minutes, and try again.
Changing a Tire
Changing a tire can seem stressful, but it is not that bad as long as you have the spare wheel and the right tools. The most important things here are to remember to read the manual to know where to place the jack to lift the car and to loosen the nuts before lifting the vehicle. If you lift the vehicle before loosening the nuts, the wheel will turn. However, you can lift the car first and have someone step on the brakes as you loosen the nuts.
Knowing the Meaning of Different Warning Lights
If you have a relatively modern car, then you have probably seen a warning light come on. The one most people recognize is the seat belt warning light that tells you when someone in the car is not wearing their seat belt. However, there are many more warning lights, many of them intended to let you know if there is an issue with the car.
The check engine light is arguably the most important of your car’s diagnostic warning lights because it can come on due to a myriad of issues. These could range from issues with the engine or transmission to serious issues with the cooling system.
It can be confusing to know what issue caused the light to come on. Your car stores different codes when different issues appear, and to diagnose the car you need to know what each of these codes means. This is why it is also essential to learn how to use a car diagnostic tool.
A car diagnostic tool connects to the OBD2 interface on your car and sends information on the different codes stored to a smartphone. There are different types of car diagnostic tools on the market, and you can find a comparison on Carly’s website so you can compare the different models on the market. Carly makes an OBD2 scanner that can be paired with the Carly app to help diagnose different issues in your car. The Carly Universal OBD Scanner is available for numerous car makes and models. For more information, visit https://www.mycarly.com/blog/car-diagnostics/best-car-diagnostic-tool/
Checking the Oil
There are stories of people who went without checking or changing the oil until they destroyed their vehicles. To check the oil, you have to locate the dipstick. It will often look like a hook sticking out of the engine. Remove it, wipe it with a clean cloth, put it back, and remove it again. The stick will have indicators for the maximum and minimum levels of oil.
While you are at it, also check the quality of the oil. If the oil is black or a dark color (it should be golden brown when new), it needs to be changed. You also need an oil change if you see or feel small particles in the oil.
It might seem daunting, but many maintenance tasks needed to keep your car in top shape are not that difficult. Once you do them a few times, preferably in your garage, you will have these skills with you should something happen when you are out for a ride or on a trip.