CAR MAINTENANCE MADE SIMPLE FOR MOMS

This post is sponsored by Cooper Tires. As always, all opinions are my own.

You’ve probably noticed that I never write about my dad on this blog. You’ve probably made assumptions about the reasons why and there’s a good chance your assumptions are right. My dad and I aren’t close although I wish we were. Our history isn’t pretty, I didn’t meet him until I was 9-years-old even though we lived on the same small island and after that initial meeting, he was never consistent in my life. When I met him, he must have just turned 28 because he was 19 years old when I was born. I thought he was super cool in his Rayban Wayfarers with his introverted yet funny personality. I remember the first time my dad and I had a really good conversation it was about a BMW he wanted. He was so passionate about how the engine was built that even I got interested. I told him that I knew little about cars and he promised he would teach me. Another promise he never kept and that broke my heart so badly that I never really wanted to learn from anyone else. See my dad actually owns an auto-mechanic business where I even worked for a bit when I was 18-years-old so you would think that I’m the girl who could at least change a tire or her own oil. Nope!

CAR MAINTENANCE MADE SIMPLE FOR MOMS

Living in New York City, a car wasn’t necessary until I became pregnant with our first child.  My husband took full responsibility for our first car doing everything from making sure the tires air pressure were good, filling up the tank to getting the car in on time for maintenance at the dealership.  My father’s broken promise didn’t even matter because I didn’t have any problems. Even when the car didn’t start, I would call roadside assistance.  When we had a second child, things got busy and my husband started to forget. I would joke with him that “he’s slippin’” when I would pick up the kids from school and notice we need to put air in the tires or notice the oil needed to be changed urgently.

That’s when I took it upon myself to learn about car maintenance and to do my part to ensure we’re always safe while driving. I can’t teach myself to change brake pads but I’m a technology lover so I decided to use it to stay on top of things that need to be checked monthly by setting alerts in my phone. Then last fall, I learned about the Cooper Tires Tread Wisely Safety app, and I’ve been using it since then. What I love about the app is that it educates and keeps me on top of things with me reminders that I can set for different time periods.

CAR MAINTENANCE MADE SIMPLE FOR MOMS

CAR MAINTENANCE MADE SIMPLE FOR MOMS

One of those things is tires and back in November, I realized that we were very close to the mileage recommended by our car manufacturer so my husband and I went together to get new tires. We chose the Cooper Discoverer SRX™   for our SUV and it took about 30 minutes for the complete tire and new valve stem assembly installation. I’ve drove in different weather conditions with these new tires and they’re fantastic especially on the snow, although they’re not specifically winter tires. Actually, as I mentioned a few weeks ago our car was damaged and we had a rental car when a massive snowstorm hit the city. We struggled to drive in the snow with the rental, but soon as we got our SUV back you could feel the difference as the tires got us around safely, which is really what I need with a 10 week old, 4-year-old and 7-year-old. Talking about the kids, I’ve found that these tires ride much more smoothly than the ones we had prior which is perfect for our family with small children.

I’ve also given my kids access to the Cooper Tires Tread Wisely app so they too can learn about car care with me. My goal is that they are empowered with the information that they need to be safe drivers and to maintain their vehicles in great working conditions.

Fortunately for me, we’re in the era of smart cars and smartphones both of which alerts and educates picking up where my father left off. Who said technology can’t be like a parent?

CAR MAINTENANCE MADE SIMPLE FOR MOMS

Anyway, ladies!  Be sure to download the app and keep the following tips from Cooper Tires in mind so you can make the best of your driving experience:

Tires should be checked at least once a month and before a long road trip for routine maintenance and safety.  Checking your tires for proper maintenance and safety is a simple, do-it-yourself routine that will get you road ready. As the only part of your vehicle connecting it to the road, checking them monthly and before road trips is recommended.

Follow these easy steps that take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Check the Pressure

Be sure to check air pressure when tires are cool (minimum three hours after driving). Find manufacturer’s recommended air pressure located on the vehicle door jamb,glove box, fuel door or the owner’s manual.

Note: the tire pressure listed on the tire sidewall is the maximum pressure,

Because tires are filled with air, the outside temperature can affect your tire’s pressure more than you might expect. On average, experts say that tire pressure decreases by about one pound per square inch for every 10° F drop in the temperature.2 The changing seasons are a good reminder to check pressure not the recommended pressure

o Remove the valve cap and take the tire gauge and press firmly on valve stem.

o If the reading is lower than the recommended level, add air and check again

o Over inflated? Push on the metal valve core in the center of the valve with the nub on the back of the tire gauge to release air, and check again. o Once recommended pressure is reached, replace valve cap.

Check the Tread

o Insert the edge of a U.S. penny in the tire tread, with Lincoln’s head down. o If the top of Lincoln’s head is covered by tread, there is at least a minimum acceptable amount of tread.

o If the top of his head is visible at any point around the tire, it is time to replace the tire.

Check the Overall Condition

o Visually check for cuts, cracks, splits, punctures, irregular wear and bulges.

o If any of these conditions are spotted, or if you are doubtful about the condition of your tires, visit a dealer for a professional inspection.

How do you stay on top of your car’s maintenance?