As a thirty-something year old driver, most people assume that I’ve been driving since I was 17 like a lot of people and so am in fact an old hand at it now. WRONG! This is actually not the case. I didn’t pass my test until I was 28 years old and even then I only did it for automatic cars because by that point I just wanted to pass and be done with it and I haven’t looked back since. One of the things that surprised me about the test was that I also needed to have some basic knowledge of how to maintain my car such as where the screen wash fluid goes, water goes and how to check and fill the oil. However, I am rather ashamed to say that that is where my car knowledge ends and really that’s not good enough…
Apart from being not very women forward its also a little bit careless and stupid not to know how to do things/fix and maintain my car if I need to. I am very fortunate to have a rather mechanic handy step-dad who’s always good for a car challenge thankfully, but it wouldn’t hurt me would it to learn and be able to do a little more than hit the call button would it?!
Obviously for big emergencies or if you’re really sure that you’re clueless and won’t be learning anything any time soon then make sure either separately or with your insurance you have some sort of recovery /repair organised that you can call when needed – make sure you keep a drink and a good book in your car for the wait!
One of the things that bugs me I cannot do is change a tyre. I’ve been caught twice in the past 3 years with a flat tyre (hazards of living in the countryside) and have had to sit there totally helpless waiting for the aforementioned step-dad. However, I do think it’s also a good idea to get your tyres checked regularly whether you know how to change them or not as it can get to a pretty dangerous point if the tread gets too low. You can Book Tyres all over the place for your car – in places like Middlesex you can visit stations like Iverson Tyres. There will be someone local to you – perhaps they’ll teach me how to change a tyre.
I always thought I should know how to change a car light bulb as well as in my head it was as simple as changing a light bulb in the home which FYI I can do and do do regularly. However, turns out its not that simple at all AND in the type of car I have, you have to take a whole load of stuff out to even get to the lights to be able to change them. So and I say this ashamedly, I found out that my local Halfords ten minutes down the road does in fact install the lights FOR FREE. All I have to do is go and get the right light bulbs from inside the store (they have a little gizmo to help you or you can just ask) then at the till ask them to install and five minutes later I’m driving away with fresh lights.
I have to say that as at the beginning I am totally ashamed of how little I can physically do to look after my car. I can do screenwash, water and oil and that’s it and for the rest I need someone else (usually a man annoyingly) to do it for me. This year I am determined to learn how to change a tyre though so watch this space!
This is a collaborative post.