What every driver should know about their car

New car owner? It’s very important that you get to know your vehicle inside and out.

You spend a lot of time in your car, but do you really know it? Every model is built differently and has its own set of instructions, but most drivers treat all cars the same. Don’t fret, you can easily get to know your vehicle by reading the owner’s manual which comes with every car.

Below are five things every driver should know about their car

Best fuel to use

At the gas station pump there are a few different fuel options. The first thing to know is if your vehicle requires diesel or regular gasoline. Engines that are designed for diesel fuel work differently than those that use regular gasoline. A diesel vehicle typically is clearly marked that way.

If your car requires regular gasoline, you may notice that there are usually three options of octane: 87, 89, and 91. The octane rating measures how stable the fuel is under compression. Most engines are designed for a specific octane. It’s important to use the octane fuel that was recommended for your vehicle; this should be stated in your owner’s manual.

Recommended service intervals

Every vehicle is designed with a recommended maintenance schedule. It tells you how often you should check and service parts of your vehicle. The key to keeping your car running its best is to maintain a regular service schedule.

For your recommended service intervals, check your owner’s manual. It will tell you when to change your oil, fluids, tires, battery, and more.

RELATED: Four ways to increase your car’s performance 

Optimal tire pressure

Tire pressure may not seem like a big deal, but having the wrong tire pressure can lead to uneven wear, difficulty steering, and even increased fuel consumption. All of this means more money out of your pocket to fix issues that could be easily avoided by regularly checking your tire pressure.

Read your car manual to find out the recommended tire pressure. Use an air gage – if you don’t own one you can find them at most gas stations – to check your pressure and make the necessary adjustments.

How to turn off your car alarm

It might seem obvious, but when that alarm is blaring in the middle of the night and you don’t know how to turn it off, panic ensues. The easiest way to turn it off is by using the button on your car key’s remote. If you do not have a remote on your car keys, unlocking the door or putting your key in the ignition will usually turn it off.

If neither of these options work, consult that trusty manual.

What the dashboard alerts mean

On your vehicle’s dashboard, you will find light indicators that alert you to the status of your vehicle. For instance, there will be lights that tell you when your car door is open, when your seat belt is off, and when your engine is having trouble. Make sure you read your owner’s manual to learn what all of the lights means.

If a light turns on that indicates there is an issue with your vehicle or engine, it is usually best to contact a car maintenance shop right away to diagnose and fix the problem.

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