It seems that modern society frowns upon masculinity as judgmental, insensitive and unsophisticated. Yet, women still seem to favor men who are not afraid to get their hands dirty and know how to fix things. Well, knowing your car inside out is a one-way ticket to reclaiming a bit of lost manliness. Here’s what you need to know.
The first thing after you buy a car is to build a decent collection of tools. If you already drive a car, do it now, we won’t tell anybody. The last thing you need is looking for a hardware store to buy a screwdriver to replace a busted wiper in torrential rain.
Check the fluids
Apart from using a dipstick to gauge the amount and clarity of oil, there are other fluids to be checked regularly. Learn how to drain and replace brake and power steering fluid without the aid of a mechanic. Engine coolant level needs to be checked regularly and spiked with antifreeze at the onset of winter.
There’s hardly something more unmanly than waving a fellow driver to help you with a tire blowout. Everything you need – a small car jack and a bolt wrench is packed within a spare tire in your car’s trunk. The idea is to put the jack under a hardened section of the frame. You can locate it easily by its plastic cover.
Jumpstart a car
It’s good to know how to jumpstart your car, and even better if you can help someone with the same problem. Once both car engines are off, clip the positive terminal of your car to the positive terminal of the other car and the negative terminal of the other car to an unpainted piece of your car’s shell. Let the other vehicle run for a few minutes and try starting your car.
Replace busted spark plugs
A lot of things can go wrong with spark plugs – a cracked insulator, worn out terminal nut or rust on the metal shell. However, the most common source of failure is the wet or dry fouling on the firing end. Unless the engine is far back in the bay so that you can’t reach the plugs without some serious work, the only tool you need is a deep socket wrench.
Recharge the A/C
If the air coming from your car vents isn’t as cold as it used to be, it’s likely that the refrigerant level in your A/C is low. It’s not that difficult to re-gas car aircon and it prepares your car for the hot season. Just make sure to buy the right refrigerant, the one printed on the engine bay sticker.
Drive in the snow
While all-season tires will get you through light snow, if it comes to shoveling driveways, you need a set of winter tires. On the road, double the space for the car in the front, and brake lightly so you can slow down enough before taking turns.
Train to look ahead
Focusing your attention only to the car in front of you leaves you unaware of potential threats that may come your way. Experienced drivers look far ahead as they can so they can buy some time to react. On a busy road, look for potential jams, halted vehicles and maintenance signs so you can switch lanes safely and timely.
Right, more and more cars have all those parking aids like beepers and bumper cams, but when the technology fails, what do you do? I’ll tell you what you don’t do – drive away. This is an essential driving skill that separates men from the boys.
Control a tire blow-out
This scenario is rare, but you should know what to do when a tire suddenly bursts. The first thing first you keep the car go straight no matter how hard it wants to pull on one side. Next, you need to step on the gas to make up for the sudden braking caused by the burst tire. Finally, you release the gas slowly and let the car come to a stop.
If you know how to maintain and even fix your car, it doesn’t matter even if you secretly watch Girls or Real Housewives of Atlanta – you’ll still be a man.