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It’s the norm that people start driving when they are young and in high school, but that was not the case for me. I grew up using public transportation and asking for rides from my family and friends up until I was 24 years old. For reasons out of my control I was not able to get a driver’s license until my mid-twenties so you can all imagine how much I value driving and having a car nowadays. It’s something that I do not take for granted and I feel grateful daily when I sit in my car before I start my day.

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I went off to college and Graduate school using public transportation in the cities that I lived in. I became a connoisseur of reading bus schedules, train and metro maps. It takes a lot to really comprehend those documents. Lol Although at times it was frustrating and hectic to ride in public transportation because it was not the best service in some cities and inconvenient I feel that I was able to explore a city more for all the times I got lost. I’ve lived in San Jose, CA, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, CA and I am pretty well versed in each cities’ geography and finding myself around those big cities.

You can all imagine a 24-year-old receiving his driver’s license as soon as graduating with a Master’s degree, I felt like a 16-year-old passing the driving exam and then being handed his first car keys by his parents. Only in this case I worked hard for my first car keys. Although the road I’ve traveled hasn’t always been the one I had planned, I’ve taken many detours and at times dead-ends, but my perseverance has always lived in me and I can honestly say that a lot I’ve done has been through hard work, dedication and thanks to my faithful supporters.

Immediately after graduating with my Master’s degree I was blessed enough to start my first official job opportunity, saved money for a down payment and I purchased my very first brand new car at 25 years old. I bought a black 2013 Kia Soul, which I named “Alma Negra”. Why? It’s a Soul and in Spanish that translate to Alma and it’s black and that in Spanish translate to Negra.

Although I didn’t start driving until later in life my father and older siblings never missed an opportunity to show me how to drive, (they were my instructors). I come from a humble Latino family so there was no extra cash to hire an official instructor to show me “how to drive.” Not only did they show me how to drive, but also taught me some of the simplest car hacks that every person should know how to do in one of their most important assets in life – their vehicle. Plus car maintenance can be expensive so its best if you know how to replace the oil, replace wind-shield wipers and perform a thorough car wash to have your car shining like new always.

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Imagine life without your car? Yeah, it would be pretty miserable I am sure since we depend on it so much. I don’t believe that driving a car is a privilege nor a luxury where only some can reap the benefits and instead I strongly believe that it’s a necessity that everyone should be able to have access to.

Think about it — you use your car to transport you from point A to point B, C, D and so forth daily such as work, errands, doctor visits, emergencies, school, food and groceries. And other times it can take you on an adventure to visit a friend, family or fun road trips, which I am the biggest fan of.

How about all the fun dates you’ve been on and your car has been your biggest ally in this because you had to pick up the girl you were trying to impress and a woman can tell a lot by how a man takes care of his car. Right ladies? So to save you some time and that special girl from running away from you follow my simple car hacks so that you have a healthy car.

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When changing your own oil there are several things you should know about the car such as year, model, make, and engine displacement size and oil type. You’ll find all of this information in your vehicle’s user manual. Once you’ve figured all this out I recommend you use Quaker State Oil for your car and although they have different varieties such as advanced durability motor oil (green bottle), ultimate durability-full synthetic motor oil (red bottle) and defy-high mileage motor oil (gold bottle) you will know which one to use by completing your research that I mentioned earlier.

Visit your nearest Walmart to purchase the oil products your car needs for its next oil change and get ready to get down and dirty. You’ll find the oil products in the Auto section of the store. Don’t be scared of the process because in the end you’ll be saving yourself money, it will give you confidence in knowing how to change your cars’ oil and durability because you’ll know you’ve chosen the best product.

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Here are the simple steps to take to change your car oil:

  1. Start by warming up your engine for 2-3 minutes so the gook gets churned up and can flow out of the engine easily. Don’t let the engine turn hot, only warm or else you won’t be able to work on it.
  2. Drain the Oil into a container. The drain plug is located at the bottom of the engine. You’ll have to crawl or need to use a jack.
  3. Remove and replace the oil filter. Empty the oil from the filter into a container.
  4. Wipe around the area where the oil was drained.
  5. Refill your oil with a funnel.
  6. Screw the new filter into the engine where the old one was.
  7. Run the engine for 30 to 60 seconds and shut off the engine and wait 5 to 10 minutes for the oil to settle.
  8. Check oil level and once it’s at appropriate level take the car for a test drive.
  9. Once you return and the level is still at “FULL” at the dipstick you’re all set. You’ve completed your successful oil change and you know for a fact that it’s going to be reliable until the next oil change because you did it with your own hands. It’s very IMPORTANT that you dispose of the oil in an approved facility. IMG_5611

You should always feel pride when driving your car and there are some simple car hacks that can make you feel empowered by knowing that your car is at its best when you’re behind the wheel. For instance my car is almost 3 years old and to me it still looks pretty new and I want it to stay like that because I plan on keeping it for many years to come. When I become a father, one day, I want to ride my kids in it. I have taken such great care of it with Quaker State Oil products and implementing the simple verbal maintenance check-list I always received from my father.

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I want to help you maintain your car reliability and durability so follow these simple tricks and I am sure you’ll be enjoying your ride for years.

Tips:

  1. Read the vehicles owner’s manual thoroughly so that you understand the cars different functions and warnings your car gives you.
  2. Vacuum and clean everything periodically and even if that means scrubbing. This tips always reminds me of my older brother because he has always stressed this on me since he’s a perfectionist and always has his car extra-clean.
  3. Fix and clean the cockpit area and dashboard since that is the area where you usually spend the majority of time and the area that you end up touching the most.
  4. Clean the headlights. Make the dull and yellowed lights clear with toothpaste. Yes, you read that right it works and my dad taught me that lesson.
  5. Always have an air-freshener in your car to invite good scent. Nothing beats a clean and smell-good car.
  6. Tidy up the trunk so that you can keep items organized, easy to find and so that things are not traveling all over the place when you’re driving.
  7. Restore the interior with olive oil. Yes, mom taught me this lesson. All you need to do is dab olive oil on a rag and rub in circular motion.
  8. Wash car frequently to help the paint last longer and minimize the time it spends parked under the sun.
  9. And always keep an eye on your wheels and tires because everything your car does it does it through the tires. IMG_5612

I want to hear about your Walmart experience when purchasing the Quaker State Oil Products or when you visit their Auto Center for your oil change. Share with me in the comments section how you take care of your vehicle so that I can implement some of your car hacks on my “Alma Negra”?

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