The tasks every car lover should know how to do


Do you think of yourself as a motor enthusiast? You may be into cars for the sound of their engine or the way they make you feel when you get behind the wheel. But whatever it is that sparks your interest, there are certain tasks that any self-proclaimed car lover should have at least a reasonable idea of how to do.

Breakdowns increased by nearly 20% between 2014 and 2019, so certain knowledge can be extremely valuable since our vehicles aren’t getting any more reliable. Read a summary of basic and more advanced tasks below to see how you match up.

Basic car knowledge

First up is reading a dipstick correctly to judge whether you need to change the oil. You should be able to judge both the level of the oil and the condition of it. Then if a change is in order, it’s handy to know how to do this yourself too.

Jacking up your car is another task that should be simple providing you can check the owner’s manual to find out which spot is best to start from. Other basic car maintenance tasks include:

  • Jump-starting your car if your battery dies
  • Changing spark plugs (unless your car is electric)
  • Changing a tire if you suffer a puncture

Intermediate level tasks

Here’s where things start to get more challenging. If you’ve ever scratched or scraped your bodywork for example, could you buff out the imperfections with a polisher and leave it looking as good as new?

The ability to restore headlight lenses to their bright and brilliant best is another useful skill to have, while being able to change your brake rotors and pads will save you unnecessary trips to the garage.

On a similar note, would you know how to flush and bleed your brakes?

Advanced expertise

Now it’s time for the real car lovers to shine. Understanding how to safely recover from a spin is knowledge that you never know when you might need – plus it can be good fun to learn in a safe environment.

Your maintenance skills should also be top notch at this level. You want to ensure that any parts that require welding should be completed to the high standard that is expected whilst using anti-spatter spray to reduce marks and provide tidy result. Spotting alignment issues by the wear of your tire tread meanwhile is a trick that only the most observant will be aware of.

Owning a car can offer great learning opportunities. Could you do with brushing up on any of the topics described above?