Having a car (and being able to drive one, of course) is great. The amount of flexibility and independence it provides to your life is huge. But with great freedom comes great responsibility. To the car, yourself, and everyone on the road.
To show you what it's like to sit in front of the wheel, Bored Panda has compiled a list of the funniest and most relatable car memes we could find on the internet. From dealing with BMW drivers to parallel parking, here's what every driver goes through on a daily basis!
A recent study of 2,000 American car owners found that as many as a quarter feel they take a risk each time they hit the road as their vehicle is currently in need of repair or no longer runs well.
The study asked people to reflect on the current state of their vehicle and tested their knowledge of car basics. Results showed an alarming number of drivers are rolling the dice on vehicles in need of work — 68 percent said their cars currently have at least one thing wrong with them.
With so many vehicles in need of love, Americans could stand to do a bit of brushing up on how to take care of their cars a little better. 36 percent of those studied confessed they don’t know the first thing about fixing a flat tire.
The survey, conducted by Cooper Tires, discovered that nearly half of American car owners think they couldn't change their car’s oil and almost 30 percent believe they couldn't even pick out the correct oil their car needs in the first place.
While going to a mechanic to get your car fixed is remains the main option for most, there's something about being able to make at least basic repairs by yourself. Working with your hands gives you pleasure. Not everyone's born a car-savvy genius, but we can always learn!
Nick Gerhardt points out in an article on Family Handyman, that you should start off with the smallest things and work your way up. For instance, you can kick things off by replacing your wiper blades or your air filter. Then, maybe try replacing the bulbs.
Senior tech editor at Jalopnik and owner of far too many Jeeps, David Tracy, shares this sentiment. If you want a crash course in wrenching, he suggests you buy yourself a junker. According to Tracy, it is the single best way to learn to fix cars. Especially if you're young and/or don't have much money, because you’ll be forced to do your own repairs.
"Coming out of high school, I hadn't turned a single wrench. I hadn't changed my oil, I hadn't changed spark plugs," Tracy writes. "Heck, I hadn’t even changed my air filter. I was a total noob. But then I got to college and bought a 215,000 mile 1992 Jeep Cherokee — a total pile of junk."
Tracy's Jeep had rust holes in the rocker panels, a huge exhaust leak, a bad fuel pump, a bad power steering line, brakes that would seize when it got slightly warm outside, filthy brown transmission fluid, and leaky gaskets everywhere. But he wasn't discouraged by it. Tracy was intrigued. And he didn't really have another option.
"It was my only car and I spent all my money on textbooks, so I had no choice but to learn to fix it myself. I also had no garage, so most of my wrenching was done in parking garages or on the street side."
"With the help of some friends at a neighboring university, I learned the basics. They taught me to change plugs, replace my valve cover gasket, and change my oil. Just that little bit of guidance was all I needed to get the ball rolling," Tracy says.
"That was the beginning of my love affair for wrenching. And now, with my new project, I’m learning quite a lot more. You can learn, too. Just go ahead and buy that Volkswagen Type III Squareback on Craigslist you’ve been salivating over."
If you do get your old VW Type III Squareback, you're gonna want to change the oil, go through the brakes, and do a basic tune-up. So go out and get some tools.
"The heart of any toolset is the socket set, so start there. My first set was a cheapo one from AutoZone. It worked okay for light-duty things, but then I had to take my bumper bolts off, and I ended up breaking ratchets and shearing extensions," Tracy explains. "You can get a pretty decent socket set from Wal-Mart for $60 or so."
OK, let's say your car isn't that bad. Then what? Well, if your ride is (somewhat) decent and you just want to know how to change the brakes, YouTube has the answers.
"I can't tell you how many times I've gone to YouTube to learn how to fix something. In fact, I referenced a YouTube video to figure out how to pull the engine from my Jeep Cherokee," Tracy says.
"There's such a wealth of wrenching knowledge on YouTube, it should be one of your first resources for information on how to fix your car."
That being said, be careful and use some judgment. Anybody can post stuff on YouTube, so if some guy uploads a video and cuts his brake lines and tells you it will get you better gas mileage because of the decreased brake drag, you might want to turn your brain on and think about that for a second.
The next logical step would be to get a repair manual, a step-by-step guide on how to fix things. Get one. "You can get a Chilton or Haynes manual for about $25 at any car parts store, or, better yet, download or buy a hard copy of a factory service manual for your car. These books can save you tons of time and effort, especially when it comes to stuff like torque specs and fluid capacities," Tracy advises.
Follow these steps and you should at least build an even stronger bond with your car. If that's something you want, of course!