What You Should Know About Your Car | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

What You Should Know About Your Car

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A beautiful, brunette woman that is sitting in a car and smiling out of her window at the camera.

What is the make and model of your car? How about the miles you currently have? Many people aren’t quite sure about these types of questions right off the top of their heads. These as well as the license number, where you have your insurance copies located and more are all important things to know about your car. Make sure you know the answers to these questions as well as these other few tips (which are only a few among many).


The Basics a Car Owner Should Know

You’ve got your first (or second or 5th car). Now what? Hopefully it’s smooth sailing on the road from that time forth. There are always things you want to know about in case you have trouble during your drive. To get a basic start with your car, you should know:

  • Gas: Some cars (like expensive ones) may require premium gas for proper internal combustion. Make sure you double check the car manual before you fill up for the first time.
  • Car Manual: Where is it? Every new car has a car manual. Make sure you find it and read it or that you look one up online if you bought a used car without a manual.
  • Tires: Depending on your climate, you may need to switch your tires for the winter. Snow tires will have deeper grooves and better traction so your car stays on the road. If you need two sets of tires, make sure the alignment is checked when they are put on biannually.
  • Car Documents: Don’t keep your original title in your car, as thieves could easily break in and take it. The same goes for credit cards, sensitive documents, social security cards and more. Make copies of your license and car title to have just in case. Make sure your insurance documents are in the glove box along with your registration. Many drivers also keep a flashlight or gloves (for the heat or cold) in the glovebox.
  • Traffic Laws: Know what the traffic laws are in your area as well as the speed limits. Make sure you stop at stop signs and for pedestrians crossing crosswalks. Always pass on the left and make sure to use your blinker so other drivers know your changing lanes. Look up laws like this to avoid accidents.


A businesswoman that has a broken down car on the side of the road. She is on a cell phone and bending down to try to put on a spare tire.

For Emergencies

Come rain or shine, there is always some kind of car emergency on the road. You just hope it won’t be your car. No matter if it is the summer or winter, make sure you have certain necessities in your car on-hand. There are always news stories of someone breaking down in the desert or being stuck in their car during a blizzard. Don’t be in that situation without the things you need! Some emergency essentials to have in your car at all times include:

  • For the car: Keep spare change somewhere in the car. You can tuck bills and change under car seats, in hidden pockets or simply in the glove box. That way, you always have money with you in a bind or for time when cards aren’t accepted. Keep photocopies of your license and other important documents in your glove box to be used if you forget the originals. Work gloves (for roadside car work) and winter gloves are also smart to have.
  • For you: Keep a spare backpack in your trunk filled with emergency health items. This includes a spare change of clothes for winter and summer, old tennis shoes, medications inside a thermos, emergency food and water, travel documents and identification, toiletries and more. Have anything you would need if you were stuck somewhere for a few days. Always keep a first-aid kit, flashlights and batteries in your car. Matches, weather radios, camping items, and multi-tool items (such as a pocketknife) are always great.


If You Get Pulled Over

Reportedly, about 125,000 drivers in the United States get a citation for traffic violations. That equals out to about 1 in 6 drivers. Although no one ever wants to get a speeding ticket (especially one with a hefty fine), make sure you have all the information you need in case you get pulled over. An officer will ask for your driver’s license and your registration. Oftentimes you need insurance information as well. Have these items handy any time you plan on driving.


A man that is putting on new windshield wiper blades.

Maintenance and Prevention

You won’t have to take your car to an auto shop for every small thing. It’s fairly easy for drivers to replace their windshield wiper fluid when they run out. If you’re a new driver, have a friend or relative walk you through refilling windshield wiper fluid. Many drivers can change their own oil as well, but this is something you will also receive when you take your car in for maintenance.


Car batteries can die anytime, leaving you stranded. The average car battery generally lasts between 4 and 6 years. However, cold weather and electronic devices you charge in the car can have an impact on that battery life. It’s always smart to keep a jumping kit in your car. Know how to use the jumper cables in case of emergency if you get stranded. If you drive in areas with fewer people, consider getting jumper cables that work.


Drivers should also know how to change their tire to the spare tire (and should have the spare tire in their car) in case of emergencies. Not enough people know how to do this on their own. Windshield wiper blades, checking tire pressure, changing out headlights and taillights are among other fixes drivers can do themselves if they have the proper training. For any strange noises or problems with your car starting, you want to definitely get the help of professionals. We can help fix car problems large and small with your car to make it like new once more. Keep our number on your speed dial and call Scott’s Fort Collins Auto at (970) 682-4202!

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