Learn How to Maintain Your Vehicle and Avoid Costly Repairs

Keeping your car in safe driving condition can sometimes get expensive. But it's not as expensive as buying a new car, which may be needed if you don't make critical repairs in a timely fashion.

If your car starts acting up, would you know where to start troubleshooting? New York Safety Council's Basic Vehicle Maintenance course is designed to take the mystery out of that annoying knock or fishy fragrance and teach you vital skills that keep your car operating safely on the road.

In this online and 3D interactive course, you'll learn how to:

  • Change a tire
  • Jump-start your car's battery
  • Check and refill engine oil and other fluids
  • Troubleshoot common car problems
  • Assemble a basic tool kit and emergency preparedness kit
  • And much more!

The course takes just an hour to complete, and there's no final exam. Follow along with interactive, 3D-animated demonstrations as you learn important skills every driver should know. You'll explore useful information about basic vehicle care and maintenance that you can use immediately upon completion of the course.

Basic Vehicle Maintenance
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Only Study What's Relevant to Your Driving Experience

One of the big frustrations for novice mechanics (and most drivers) is digging through a mountain of DIY car repair materials that have nothing to do with their car. Our course eliminates that frustration by customizing the learning materials to address your needs.

Before you start the course, we'll ask a few questions to determine which topics are most relevant to you and your vehicle. This helps us customize the course based on your vehicle type and the weather conditions you normally drive in.

Throughout your training, you will only see instructional material that's specifically relevant to your car and current driving experience.

However, you can easily access all topics and training materials using the course's dashboard, which can be helpful down the road if you trade in your car for a new model or travel to a region with winter driving hazards.

Course Outline: What You'll Learn

We've divided the Basic Vehicle Maintenance course into three modules. Each module covers a different aspect of vehicle care and is designed to help you learn each concept quickly and efficiently.

You'll learn key skills for maintaining your vehicle, including:

  • Changing a tire — a critical skill if your tire blows during 5:00 p.m. traffic
  • Jump-starting your car's battery so that you're never stranded again
  • Understanding warning lights on your dashboard
  • Using the right fuel to get maximum performance from your car's engine
  • Identifying car noises and determining the best course of action to fix them
  • Identifying smells that indicate it's time to change the oil, have your brakes inspected or visit a mechanic for repairs
  • Maintaining all the parts of your car, from the windshield wipers to the brakes, and understanding what can happen if you don't
  • Assembling a car tool kit that'll be ready to go when mishaps strike
  • Building an emergency kit to prepare for breakdowns and other hazards
  • And much more!

Learn more about course topics and learning objectives below.

Module 1: Getting Ready for the Road

Module 1 Topics Include:

  • The different types of fuel
  • An overview of hybrid and electric cars
  • Tips on electric vehicle maintenance
  • How to assemble a tool kit and emergency kit
  • The cold-weather supplies you need

Learning objectives include:

  • Differentiate between gasoline grades and octane ratings
  • Name the hazards of using incorrect fuel in your vehicle
  • Differentiate between all-electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid vehicles
  • List the components of a vehicle tool kit and the repairs you can make with each tool
  • List the emergency supplies you should keep in your vehicle and how each item is useful

Module 2: Maintaining Your Car

Topics covered in Module 2 include:

  • How to check your oil and add it to your car
  • How to check and add other types of fluids
  • Understanding the ins and outs of tires, wipers and belts
  • Learning about batteries and brakes

Learning objectives include:

  • Describe why oil is important to your vehicle's engine
  • List fluids other than engine oil that are important to keeping your vehicle running safely
  • Identify the correct air pressure for your vehicle's tires
  • List the signs that your vehicle's windshield wipers should be replaced
  • Determine when to get your brakes checked
  • Describe how to maintain your vehicle's 12-volt battery

Module 3: What to Do in an Emergency

Topics covered in Module 3 include:

  • What your dashboard indicator lights mean
  • How to jump-start a car
  • How to change a tire

Learning objectives include:

  • Identify the meanings of common dashboard indicator lights
  • Explain how to address issues that cause dashboard alerts
  • Describe the process of jump-starting a battery
  • Describe the process of changing a tire

Once you've completed the course's three learning modules, you'll have the basic skills you need to navigate roadside emergencies. You'll also understand some basic vehicle care and maintenance skills that keep your car running smoothly and can save you money on repairs.

Helpful Resources on Vehicle Care and Maintenance

"I like the fact that I could do this online and on my schedule. So great for those of us who are super busy!"

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— Linda

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