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  • Writer's pictureAthens Driving Prep

This Vehicle Maintenance Checklist is Perfect for New Drivers

Athens Georgia Drivers Ed student

When new drivers get their licenses for the first time, it can be exciting to get behind the wheel. Most vehicles operate efficiently and deliver consistent results.

What happens when unexpected circumstances occur? If you’re a new driver and hear strange sounds, you might not realize something is wrong.

Before driving anywhere, consider going through the following vehicle maintenance checklist to ensure you won’t need roadside assistance in Athens, GA.

Vehicle Maintenance Checklist Basics

The average driver opens their door, starts their vehicle, and drives toward their next destination without an inspection. We have come to trust the consistency that today’s cars and trucks offer.

It is a good practice to go over a few things before you drive to ensure unpleasant surprises don’t creep up.

  • Check all your fluids, including your oil, to ensure they’re at appropriate levels for your upcoming drive.

  • Review your tire PSI numbers, adding or subtracting air as needed to meet the manufacturer’s specifications.

  • Clean out the interior, removing any trash that could get in your way while driving.

  • Check your lights: head lights, rear lights, brake lights, front and back blinkers.

  • Check the safety equipment, seat belts, and other essential items to ensure they’re in working order.

It adds a few minutes to your schedule to complete a vehicle maintenance checklist, but the effort could save you a substantial headache. That’s why it is an excellent routine to start, especially as a new driver.

You won’t have any habits to break to get into this routine right after you’ve earned your driver’s license.

Common Problems That Develop While Driving

A warning light is the most common issue that all drivers face when they get behind the wheel. These indicators illuminate when the engine control unit detects an error code. Most vehicles have more than 200 possible issues that can cause this alert, so an inspection is the best way to determine if repairs are necessary.

Here are some other issues that can cause concern for new drivers in Athens, and what can be done about them if they appear.

1. Engine Sputtering

A vehicle’s engine uses fuel and air to create a burn in the combustion chamber. A misfire can happen if anything in the series of delivery and ignition systems doesn’t work correctly. Before investing in a significant repair, take a few moments to see if something is clogging your air intake.

2. Fuel Consumption Problems

Your vehicle’s sensors eventually get dirty or wear out. When this issue happens, they need to be cleaned or replaced to help the driving experience remain the same. If the computer doesn’t have enough data to know how to control fuel consumption, your miles per gallon could drop dramatically.

3. Battery Problems

A car battery can fail while you’re driving. It can also fail to start a vehicle when it gets too cold for it, or there isn’t enough power available. Try to replace this item every 50,000 miles or every three years to avoid issues, even if you haven’t detected any signs of damage or power loss.

4. Flat or Overinflated Tires

Most tires become flat after a vehicle strikes an object in the road or experiences a puncturing event. When the product's expected lifespan expires, you can wear through the rubber to cause this issue.

Tires are meant to wear out, but rotating them every 5,000 miles can help you achieve a more even result. It is a good idea to have this service done when you get your oil changed.

5. Brake Sounds

When you hear grinding or squealing when depressing the brake pedal, it indicates that the pads have worn out. You can still achieve stopping power, but you'll eventually damage your discs and calipers without any maintenance work.

When to Contact a Mechanic About Vehicle Issues

The best time to speak with a mechanic about your vehicle is before you need to think about repairs. That practice gives you time to shop around.

Most repair requests are reactive instead of proactive, especially for beginning drivers in Athens. Some items, such as oil and belt changes, are on a maintenance schedule. Try to keep up with these as much as possible to ensure your vehicle runs as expected.

The average driver can handle some maintenance issues and repairs, such as adding windshield fluid or checking coolant levels. Anything you're uncomfortable doing when something happens to the car should be turned over to a mechanic to evaluate.

When working with a mechanic, please remember to get all promises in writing.

Our Drivers Ed in Athens, GA will help you get ready for the fun times on the road ahead. When you know what to expect behind the wheel, making the best decision is much easier.


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