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Your New Ride: 5 Must-Knows For Every New Car Owner

by Amy Walters

Car KeysSo you just bought yourself a new set of wheels. It might even be your first new car. What do you need to know and do to keep your new ride functioning the way it should? Here are the five most important thing every new car owner needs to know.

1. Read the Owner’s Manual

The first thing to do is read the owners’ manual. Familiarize yourself with the maintenance schedule. Your cars’ manufacturer has done extensive testing to work out exactly what maintenance your car needs and when. Most new cars should have their first checkup at 15,000 miles or twelve months, whichever comes first. Be aware of how to take care of your car by reading the manual.

2. Know How to Handle an Accident

It’s not fun to discuss the possibility of an accident, but many car owners do not know what to do in case of a car accident. When an accident occurs, be sure you know the procedure. Contact police and swap insurance information with the person who you got in an accident with. Whatever you do, don’t leave the scene of the accident. If needed, contact a Utah car accident attorney.

3. Keep It Clean

If you have covered parking it helps, but not all of us can afford that luxury. Microfiber towels are useful for both cleaning the interior and putting the final touches on the outside after washing. A sheepskin wash mitt is a good investment. For washing tires, use a stiff bristle brush. Vinyl protectant spray is best avoided initially. And never use anything too shiny or glossy on the dash, as it might interfere with your ability to see the instruments. Scotchguard is handy for protecting cloth upholstery and carpets.

4. Scheduled Maintenance

Plan to change your air and oil filters on a regular basis and stick to maintenance schedules. It might cost you money right now, but a big problem with your car down the road will cost you far more than the routine care. Always use a certified, trusted mechanic. Ideally, find a good mechanic’s office and stick with them.

5. Safety Kit

Make sure to have a safety kit in your car at all times. Carry jumper cables, a first aid kit, and an orange emergency triangle (in case you have to stop on a busy road). A flashlight is also a good idea. If you live in an area that gets real winter, then consider keeping not just a scraper but a small shovel in the trunk. For longer trips carry a tool kit, food, water and blankets. A tow rope is another must-have for lengthy road trips.

Look after your new ride and it will look after you. And always stay safe on the road.

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