Understanding Your Vehicle: A Guide For Beginners

A crucial part of vehicle ownership is maintenance and care, that is, if you want to keep your car running smoothly and fault-free for longer. For many of us, a car will represent a serious financial investment, and it is vital that we take the time to properly care for it not only to get our money’s worth but to keep drivers, passengers, and other road users safe. While there are some aspects which are best left to a qualified mechanic –Geared Up does transmission repair in no time and to a high standard—there are steps you can take to tune up your vehicle and keep it happy, healthy and roadworthy, no matter your motor inexperience.

Why Is It Important?

Keeping your car in good shape is important for both your finances and safety.


Regularly checking over your car allows you to make sure that all critical components are in good working order with no dirt, rust or damage which could be dangerous. Regular inspection will also help you to spot problems early, meaning you can get them repaired before they become too much of a hazard.

Resale Value

Proper maintenance also helps to protect the resale value of your car. If you are selling a vehicle with full service history and clear, documented repairs, there is usually a high chance that you will be able to increase the asking price.

What To Check For?

Some issues and faults are best left to the experts, but becoming familiar with the basics can make a diagnosis and repair an easier task.


In modern cars, there is a range of warning light which will flash to give you a heads up that something needs addressing. Some of the most common lights you may see include:

  • Check Engine Light: The check engine light suggests that there is an issue with the cars motor, which is connected to and actively monitored by an OBD-II interface.
  • Service Engine Light: The service light is more or a reminder telling you that a regular service is coming up.
  • Electrical Fault Light: This light indicates that there is a problem with the electrical charging system—usually the alternator.
  • Brake Warning Light: if the brake warning light flashes, it can either mean that your parking brake is engaged, or you need to top up your brake fluid levels. It is a good idea to check your owners manual for further clarification.
  • ABS Warning Light: ABS, also known as the anti-braking system, helps to keep your car in control. If this warning light appears, you should find a garage as soon as possible.
  • Coolant Warning Light: If your coolant warning light comes on this is a sign that your engine is overheating, which can be dangerous. You should pull over, and give your engine a chance to cool down. Never open the radiator cap until the engine is totally cool—it is highly pressurized.
  • Oil Warning Light: If your oil levels are too low, your car will show an oil warning light. You should not attempt to drive your vehicle if this appears, as it can totally destroy your engine.

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