Things Every Driver Should Know About Their Vehicle

Things Every Driver Should Know About Their Vehicle

Whether newly licensed or a seasoned driver there are basic elements that every road warrior should be aware of when it comes to the vehicle they are driving. Knowing these basic fundamentals about your vehicle will help you to keep it running smoothly as well as help you be informed when you need to bring it into a shop for service. If you are looking for expert automobile repairs, come to the team at Casey’s Automotive in Chantilly, Virginia. 

At Casey’s Automotive, our technicians have gained recognition in providing premier auto maintenance services. We strive to satisfy you with our services by treating you as part of our family, and not to mention, we will never overcharge or misquote your services. Below, we have gathered a list of things you should know about your vehicle: 


Engine Oil

Oil’s purpose is to cool, lubricate, and clean the engine. Each vehicle takes a different type of oil. Oil is important because, without enough of it lubricating and cleaning the engine, your vehicle is at risk of serious damage. Since the oil becomes dirty after it continuously circulates the engine, it must be replaced with clean oil every 3000 miles, unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer’s manual. Always keep an eye out for low/dirty oil warning signs. Those signs include an illuminated oil light on the dashboard, a scent of burning oil, clunking sounds, lowered performance, and an overheating engine. 


Spare Tire

Familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s spare tire. Is it located in the truck? Is it a full-sized spare or just a donut? Does it have air? Are all of the necessary tools available for changing your tire in the event of a blowout? Changing a tire on your own can be rather easy so long as you have the proper tools. Having a good jack and knowing where to place it under your vehicle is the trick to getting it done safely and properly. 

Windshield Wiper Blades

Windshield wiper blades are an often-overlooked element. Because of their tendency to slowly lose their ability to function properly, it might appear as though they are working just fine. Well, that is until you turn them on and see them skipping across the glass while hearing a guh guh guh. You see, the rubber on the wiper blades stays in one direction while moving up, then changes direction while heading back down. When the rubber sits f. that finds themselves needing a good pair. It usually takes being stuck in a heavy storm to realize they aren’t exactly working at optimal levels. Generally speaking, the blades should be replaced somewhere between really need them. not working? Not exactly what you call a most pleasant experience, isn’t it? These wipers are a necessity that many people tend to overlook–only to realize how important they are once they’re in a tight crunch. If you want to keep your windshield wipers performing at their best, make sure their blades are in good shape. Generally, you should replace them every six months, although it’s best to check with your car’s manual first.

Vehicle Fluids

Another basic component that every car owner should take in mind is car fluid. If you want to keep your car running smoothly, make sure to check them regularly. It’s something you can do easily, so no excuses, here. The five important ones include:

  • Engine Oil
  • Coolant
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Brake Fluid
  • Windshield Washer Fluid

Tire Pressure

You might think tire pressure is really not a big deal, but you’re so mistaken. It’s actually one of the most important safety features on your car. Here’s why: when tire pressure is low, its surface touches most of the ground and can cause friction between the road and the tire. When this happens, your tires wear out fast. It can also overheat and may lead to tread separation, which is an accident waiting to happen.

Conversely, too much air is not good either. It causes less tire surface to touch the ground, making it a bumpier ride for everyone. It also causes less traction, causing stopping distances to suffer. Consequently, it can lead you to misjudge an area when slamming your car brakes.

Obviously, if you’re going to make an error here, it’s better to have too much pressure instead of a lower one. But if you want them to perform at their best and maintain their longest life, use the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle.


Headlights and Taillights

Headlights and taillights go dimmer as time goes by, so inspect them from time to time. Checking them is more than safe preventive measure. It gives you a way to avoid getting pulled over by the cops. Generally, it’s recommended to change headlights every year.


Car Maintenance

Regular car maintenance vary from time to time. It can be expensive, but your car maintenance is very important. The best way to start is to read you vehicle owner’s manual. It will give you the ideal service intervals for your car.

Shocks and Struts

Is your car rocking back and forth from time to time? Can you hear rattling when you go over bumps? Then your shocks and struts are probably worn out. This is one of the most common problems of older vehicles.

Air Filter

It’s important to change your air filters every six months. When engines get dirty, they can get clogged, ma king them work harder. This can cause engines to work harder, and can cause an added expense in your fuel expenses.

Emergency Roadside Kit

You can never tell when your car might break down, and if that happens, then you should have your emergency kit on hand. These include:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Three Reflective Warning Triangles
  • Tire Gauge
  • Foam Tire Sealant
  • Jumper Cables
  • Flashlight
  • Extra Batteries
  • Gloves
  • Rags
  • Duct Tape
  • Tow Rope
  • Utility Too (such as the Swiss Army Knife)
  • Rain Poncho
  • Drinking Water
  • Warm Blanket
  • Cat litter (acts like a sand underneath tires for traction)
  • Glass Wipe (in case the windshield is broken)


Brakes are another important safety feature that you should never overlook. When you drive, observe closely. Is your steering wheel shaking while you are stepping on the brake pedals? If that’s the case, then this might affect your car’s stability control system and ABS (anti-lock braking system).


Get A Good Mechanic

And lastly, get a good mechanic. A skilled, honest-to-goodness mechanic is hard to come by, but if you find one, then hang on to them–tightly. Ask friends and family for recommendations, read through car forums, and go through car mechanic reviews. Don’t just pick the first one you come across just because they give you the cheapest rates. Take your time here. You’re putting your car’s safety and performance into their hands, so make sure they’re good at what they’re doing.


Year, Make, and Model

It is crucial to know when your vehicle was manufactured, who produced it, and the model. Without knowing this information, it could lead to big mistakes when getting your car repaired. This is because fluids, parts, and accessories are all based on this information. 

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

Your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is essentially your vehicles fingerprint. It is a 17-digit number that identifies it’s manufacture date, place, make, model, engine size, etc. You won’t need to memorize this, but you’ll need to know where to find it. The VIN is typically located on the outside of the driver’s side windshield where it meets the dashboard. 

Maintenance Schedule

Every vehicle has its own specific maintenance schedule that keeps your vehicle in optimal condition. This schedule may include oil changes, when to check your fluids, and when to rotate your tires. Your maintenance schedule is located in your owner’s manual.

Tire Pressure

Having the proper tire pressure will keep you up-to-date on the current condition of your tires. This will allow you to monitor whether you have a slow leak and balding issues. It also allows your tires to last much longer. 

Casey’s Automotive: Trustworthy Automobile Repairs in Chantilly, Virginia

If you are unsure of your vehicle’s maintenance needs, our highly trained mechanics at Casey’s Automotive can assist you. Our team of friendly experts will help you identify any auto issues and will quickly provide you with a solution. At Casey’s Automotive, we offer quality automobile repairs in Chantilly, VA, with no hidden fees or additional service charges. Our fast and affordable services have provided our Northern Virginia customers with 100% satisfaction and safe driving experiences.


Contact us today at (703) 802-6300 to keep your vehicle in great condition!