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5 Habits Every Smart Car Owner Practices

Whether you are new to driving or have 30 years of driving experience under your belt, operating that vehicle is a big deal. To help you get the most out of your vehicle and keep you safe out there on the open road, you need to make sure you are doing the right things. Here are five habits that every smart car owner should practice.
1. Crack Open That Owner's Manual
The owner's manual sitting in your glove box gathering dust is not meant to be ignored—it should be studied. If it's not in your glove box, find it and keep it in your car for handy future reference. Can't find it anywhere? You can order a copy online from your vehicle manufacturer.

Inside the owner's manual is a ton of helpful information specifically about your vehicle, including a rundown of each and every knob, dial and switch. You might discover a feature of your car that ultimately makes your life easier, or find out why that dashboard light is on.

The owner's manual also recommends what maintenance is required during a certain time frame to keep your car functioning properly and safely. Some of these include when to change the wiper blades, how long the filters and belts last, or what the right tire pressure should be. Ignoring your owner's manual can cause you to miss out on important information regarding your vehicle make, model and year.
2. Keep Important Documents in One Place
Choose one area of your vehicle to keep your important documents safely stored away in case of an emergency. Some things to include are:
  • Proof of auto insurance
  • Vehicle registration
  • Copy of vehicle inspection and smog test pass
If you are ever in an accident or get pulled over by a police officer, you can eliminate the frustration of searching the center console, glove box, door pockets and other hiding places by choosing one place to keep all these papers. In an emergency, you want to be able to quickly and easily locate these documents. Don't forget to update them when necessary and toss out the old ones to avoid confusion.
3. Invest in Learning Basic Maintenance
It may seem inconvenient or overwhelming, but you need to take the time now to learn how to perform basic maintenance on your car. This will save you the hassle and frustration of not knowing what to do in the future if something goes wrong with your car. Have an experienced driver or mechanic friend show you how to:
  • Check and top off all the fluids in the car, especially oil and windshield wiper fluid
  • Safely change a tire
  • Jump your car with a set of jumper cables
If you're feeling ambitious, learning how to change a belt or filter can come in handy one day too.
4. Assemble an Emergency Kit for Your Car
Find a duffel bag or backpack, and start rounding up a few things to make an emergency kit for your car. Include jumper cables, a flat tire repair kit, a flashlight and batteries, flares, a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher. If you live in a severe climate or are driving long distances you might want to add a blanket, chemical hand warmers, high-protein snacks, sunscreen and bottled water.
5. Keep a Reliable Mechanic in Your Contact List
By preparing ahead of time and locating a good mechanic and body shop now, you won't be scrambling for phone numbers if your car needs to be repaired one day. Check around your area and read reviews for a few shops and add one or two to your contact list.

If you live in the Concord, CA, area, visit the experts at Jim's Repair Shop, where they have the right equipment and expertise to handle collision and auto body repair and painting. 

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Concord Location

2520 Monument Blvd.
ConcordCA 94520

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Antioch Location

1401 Verne Roberts Circle
Antioch, CA 94509


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Walnut Creek Location

2645 N Main St.
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Concord Location

2520 Monument Blvd.
Concord, CA 94520

Phone: 925-689-6117
Fax: 925-689-7836

Business Hours:
Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday, 8 a.m.-Noon

Antioch Location

1401 Verne Roberts Circle
Antioch, CA 94509

Phone: 925-754-7600
Fax: 925-754-3614

Business Hours:
Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday, 8 a.m.-Noon

Walnut Creek Location

2645 N Main St.
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Phone: 925-933-2109
Fax: 925-933-8015

Business Hours:
Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday, 8 a.m.-Noon

Accepted at all locations mastercard and visa accepted