Passing the test and driving while supervised and under perfectly controlled circumstances means very little when you hit the road for real. Yes, your knowledge will be handy and your practice time will definitely make all the difference for managing the traffic, but you should also get some facts about preparing yourself for your every day behind the wheel, and for handling certain car troubles on your own.
It takes practice and plenty of patience, but even some of the more complex issues will soon come naturally to you – you just need to stay dedicated and always put your safety first.
Here are a few key tips for you to implement as soon as you start driving regularly!
Flat tyre? No problem
It may seem too complicated at first, but after a few tries, you’ll find that changing a flat tyre just takes some practice. This is a skill that will be extremely handy for you in various situations, so take your time to learn and practice the proper use of your spare tyres so that you can drive safely even in these unwanted situations.
To do that, you’ll also need to make sure your spare is in pristine condition, that it can take you back home so that you can replace it with a regular tyre, especially if it’s smaller and not designed for the kind of road on which you’re driving.
Regular maintenance is vital
After you’ve gotten to know your car a little bit, you can get into detail on the best practices for your make and model to keep it running smoothly for longer. Protecting it from the elements and environmental damage is one of the simplest precautions you can take, without breaking the bank. For instance, applying the paint protection film is not purely about aesthetics, but it’s about helping protect your car from contaminants the likes of bird droppings or loose road tar.
Since it doesn’t wear off and comes with a ten-year warranty, you can actually simplify your car-cleaning process and prevent all kinds of long-term damage to the look and the functionality of your car.
Master the dashboard lights
Some cars have very intuitive signaling boards and the flashing red lamp is always a surefire way to attract your attention. Other cars, however, needs more getting used to, which means that you’ll need to read those signs carefully and learn about what each of them could mean. This is especially vital when you’re getting ready for a longer trip out of town.
Although sometimes you’ll be able to handle the issue yourself, do make sure to note down the repairs or maintenance done by a professional every time a light comes on. This will serve you as a reference point in case something similar happens again, and you’ll be able to price-shop, too!
Mind the gas
It’s easy to get distracted when you run errands and stop paying attention to the meter until you’re too low on gas, miles away from the first gas station suitable for your vehicle. That’s why you should always keep track of your fuel tank and learn about your gas stations in the area. It’ll help you plan your refills and head towards the most reliable place that’s nearby.
Smart braking habits are vital
One of the most dangerous things that could happen to any driver includes faulty brakes. However, they don’t necessarily need to be broken, but when you use them too violently and without caution, you might wear them down quickly, causing them to become less effective, which can become hazardous on the road.
Instead, make sure that you practice smooth braking whenever possible, which will extend the life of your brakes and keep you safer on the road. This will help you preserve your brake power for when you truly need to hit the brakes in case of an emergency – which will hopefully never happen, though!
Manage emergencies properly
This is where those “keep calm” t-shirts really come to life. In addition to finding a safe location to pull over, you should also be able to check if anyone is injured, check if it’s safe to leave the vehicle, and call for help. Of course, turn on your hazard flashers, and use a triangle to signal other drivers that you’re stranded while you wait for assistance.
Finally, even if you can handle the problem on your own, call someone to let them know where you are and that you’ll be back on the road soon – it’s always best to stay alert.
The better care you take of your car, the longer it will serve you. Plus, these car-care tips are focused on your own safety and wellbeing. Make sure to not just learn, but also apply these tips when driving and taking care of your vehicle with the help of your mechanic, and always ask them if you can do something better to prolong the lifespan of your vehicle and enjoy your rides even more!