When I asked this question to someone who knew a lot about cars, the answer I got was “Oil changes are vital to making your car run smoothly.” I’d heard that before. And sure, I knew that any machine with many metal parts would need to stay lubricated to avoid overheating or something, but since the oil doesn’t really go anywhere, why should I ever need to replace it?
The most common incapacitating car problem is generally agreed to be a flat tire. Active Tools Education Center says that in the U.S. alone, 220 million people get flat tires over the course of a year; that boils down to seven punctures every second, and that’s just in the United States! Luckily for these 220 million people, flat tires are not only the most common car problem, but they are also one of the easiest to repair. Despite the frequency of this predicament, and the simplicity of its repair, few people know what to do when they get a flat tire. Shamefully, I’m among those who would be stuck on the side of the road for hours trying to figure out where to start– if I was left to do it on my own.
Everyone has hit a curb or a pothole before; most people know that either of those can cause wheel misalignment; but few people actually know what a wheel alignment is, much less why it’s needed. Wheel alignments sound awfully important and awfully complicated. The most annoying part about an alignment is how much it costs for what may seem like an unnecessary service. While they aren’t particularly expensive, it’s nice to know what you’re paying for, and why it’s important to your car’s ability to run properly.
For most people, myself included, the steering wheel is one of the few parts of a car that’s easy to recognize. Likewise, it’s one that everyone knows is vital to the car’s operation, so when it starts vibrating on the freeway, there aren’t many people who wouldn’t be fazed. There are even fewer people who would know how to fix the problem.
When you get up on a particularly cold morning, and the air is almost piercing, you really just want to get to work and start your day so it’ll be over with sooner. I had one of these days a week or so ago, but my car wouldn’t start. I turned the key in the ignition a few times, and my car wouldn’t even turn over. I’d seen people pull out the red and black cables before, and perform some strange clamping and unclamping procedure, but I never thought I would be the one doing the clamping.
Everyone has had those heart-stopping images of brake failure accidents flash into their mind: whether it was because they hit the wrong pedal, they felt their brakes shudder, or their brakes let out a shrill squeal. The shrieking noise of brakes is never a welcome one, but the real question is is your safety really at risk?
Strange warning lights go on and off on people’s car dashes all the time. Most people, myself included, overlook them, and keep moving at the fast pace life requires today. What does the tire light even mean? Should I really be concerned about it?