Thursday, December 29, 2011

Correcting Car-Care Ignorance

Okay, this post will most likely be completely uninteresting to readers; nonetheless, I think it is an important issue. In my attempt to become a self-sufficient, independent woman, I feel it is necessary to talk about car maintenance. Now, cars mean very little to me (Unless it involves a cowboy in a pickup.) If it gets me from point A to point B and looks relatively good, I am a happy camper. I don’t understand horsepower, and I can’t tell a carburetor from a radiator. Yet, it is an investment that does require proper upkeep. I hate bringing my car into the shop for minor concerns because they always try and take advantage of my ignorance. So to prevent future visits, I have recruited my dad to show me the ins and outs of simple car maintenance. Accordingly, I want to focus on the triple threat of straightforward car care: engine, tires, and the battery. For every woman like me, I’m going to pass on a little wisdom about each that will hopefully keep you out of the car repair shop. When dealing with her responsibilities, every real woman should be willing to get a little down and dirty! That’s what showers are for! First, let’s keep the engine in good shape. OIL, OIL, OIL. Check the oil. Once a month, make a note to check the oil to make sure there’s enough fluid to keep you going. Don’t be afraid to go into the gas station, buy a bottle of engine oil for super cheap, and top it off yourself. Refer to your manual if you’re unsure how to check the oil or what type of oil you need (Feel free to insert dipstick joke here.) Next, check your tire pressure. This is necessary when the weather changes. So if you’re from St. Louis, I suggest you become friends with your wheels. You can find a pressure gauge just about anywhere. If you look on the inside of your driver’s side door, it will tell you how many PSIs are necessary to keep your tires full. Depending on if there is too much or too little, you will need to take action. You can go to any gas station to either pump air or deflate it. Turns out I have a leak in mine so I will need to take the car in after all :-(. Lastly, we have the battery. Now today I spent a bit of time cleaning off some battery corrosion, but my dad gave me a little quick-fix way to do it. Don’t spend a ton of money on sprays and lubes. Baking soda, water, a steel wool pad, and some Vaseline are all you need, and it won’t cost you more than $10. If you have corrosive buildup on your battery, alternate pouring baking soda and water on the accumulation and watch it eat away. Use the wool pad if you need to get in there good. Wipe it away and it should be good as new. Then coat the plugs in the Vaseline to prevent oxidation and further, future corrosion. Hopefully, now you can feel more comfortable tackling simple auto-related responsibilities and can be on your way to being a self-sufficient woman! Good luck!

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