Truth be told, not everyone can be a car buff, no matter how much time you spend on the road. But that does not justify living in a bubble and having to run to your mechanic to check tire pressure.
Mastering a few basics about automobiles will not only make you feel more masculine. It will also make you self-reliant and keep your car running more smoothly.
No, this is not a guide to rebuilding your truck’s engine, but it is a great place to start!
1. How to change a tire
Have you ever noticed how flat tires seem to come at the most inconvenient times? It could be right in the middle of a storm or on your way to a job interview. No matter the case, knowing how to do it yourself will save you the 5-hour wait for AAA. Simply put the parking brakes and jack the car, remove the hubcap, lug nuts and tire, put the new tire, and screw the nuts tight.
2. How to Jump-Start a Dead Battery
Sooner or later your battery is going to run out of juice in the least ideal setting. It would be great if you have a set of jump starter cables and even better if you know how to use them. Start by positive clamping on the dead battery and then the good one. Next, negative-clamp on the good battery and then negative-clamp to a grounded metal in your car. Start the good car and then start your car, and voila!
3. How to Check the Fluids
Every fluid in your vehicle needs checking and maintenance, from the oil and coolant to the brake and power steering fluid. You need to learn to pull a dipstick, drain and refill them without having to call the guy.
4. Be able to describe problems to your mechanic
The mechanic should be in a position to diagnose the problem on your car so as to fix it. Simply saying it’s broken down will mean more time figuring out and fixing the issue. And you will be sure to pay a pretty penny for that.
So in case, you are wondering what gift to give your mechanic, how about the gift of clarity? Make proper use of adjectives to describe the exact problem, like you would describe an ailment to a physician. For instance, you could say, “When I go over 60, it makes a rattling noise” or “Every time I brake, it pulls to one side.”
5. Back-Up a Trailer
Does the idea of backing up a trailer strike terror into your heart? Well, it’s time you came to terms with your fears and dealt with that phobia. You might at some point borrow or buy an RV to make friends and family on vacation. Or your father-in-law might give you the boat for a weekend. Master the S-turn and avoid inexperienced guides at all costs.
6. Drive a Stick Shift
If you skipped the initiation rites into the art of driving a stick shift, it’s about time! It might stall out the first few times, and you might grind the clutch when shifting gears. But with tons of persistence and patience, you will get it right. After all, you never know when you may require the know-how.
7. How to Parallel Park
It’s not just about passing your driving test. Rather, it is an essential survival skill for life in the concrete jungle. There is no right way to parallel park, but there are plenty of wrong ways. And unfortunately, they might result in a hefty bill on your insurance policy. Plus, you do not want to be the guy who holds up traffic for a half-hour as you try again and again to back up into that spot.
As you can tell by now, the above skills are not all about being a man. They are about being self-sufficient and avoiding unnecessary cringeworthy moments.