Buying your first car is one of life’s major stepping stones and one that you ought to be very proud of. And, really, just between you and me, you’ve got to know that it does not matter if your first car is a glimmering Porsche right off the lot or an old Volkswagen beetle purchased from the aging hippy down the road, you will love your first car just the same. And, just as you must with all that you love, you need to treat your car right.
The first thing you must do once you have purchased a car is to make sure all of its papers are complete and done. Listen, I hate paperwork as much as the next guy, but getting your paperwork done now will save you buckets of heartache in the future. Depending upon where you live, your paperwork will include vehicle registration, proof of insurance, smog certificate, and log that keeps track of maintenance.
Next, you have got to figure out the maintenance schedule of your car. If it is used, you have got to check its oil and other fluid levels and perhaps replace them. If it is new, read the owners manual to learn how frequently its fluids need to be changed. Then follow that guidance.
The next item to check where the rubber literally meets the road: its wheels. Check out your car’s wheels looking for wear. A penny must be able to slide into the tread of your wheels deep enough so that the top of Abe’s upside down head is hidden. Also, check your tire pressure to make sure it is at the right level. Doing this will save your wheels and improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
Finally, put together a car tool kit made up of a socket set, adjustable wrench, pliers, jumper cables, screwdrivers (flat and Phillips), funnels, clean rags, tire pressure gauge, jack and tire iron, four flares, a flashlight and batteries, oil, coolant, and a blanket.