Millennials vs. maps: top tips younger drivers (aged 23 – 38) need to know
We conducted research into the knowledge that younger drivers - and some older drivers - perhaps don’t know, that drivers from past generations do. Read on if you’re looking to gain a little more essential driving knowledge you might be missing out on.
How do I read a map?
These days, many of us rely on Internet-based navigation (such as Sat Navs and Google Maps) to help us tackle journeys to places we’ve never been before.
But what happens if we lose signal, or our tech freezes or crashes? Ever had to drive around a little lost while you recalibrate your Sat Nav, or wait for your phone to regain GPS signal?
More than half (58%) of millennials can’t read maps, and neither can almost a third (31%) of those from older generations. Which is pretty scary! But don’t worry, all you need to do is follow these tips if you’re ever stuck with a good old fashioned road map:
● Check the map key: There is a key on your map that indicates what the symbols on your map mean - which is particularly useful if you can figure out where you are (or where you want to be) through landmarks, such as churches, resting areas or airports.
● Find your current location: This bit is tricky, but try using the legends along with road signs, road layouts and anything else from your surroundings to help you figure out where you are on the map.
● Point your map north: In the unlikely event that you have a compass with you, we know this might be a stretch, but match the north point on the map to north on your compass. If not, use your location on the map and whatever you’re heading towards to figure out your direction. For example, if you know which road you’re on and you can see you’re driving towards a train station, make sure the train station on the map is facing forward.
● Find your destination: Locate your destination on the map, making sure you keep the map facing north or the direction you figured out in the previous step. It might be helpful to mark off the destination on your map with a pen or a pin, or highlight the route you’d like to take in full.
● The scale: Once you know where you are, your direction, and where you’re heading, you can then use the scale on the map (which will either be in lines or colours, and tends to be along the edge will be explained in the legend) to estimate how long it will take you to arrive, as you can roughly approximate the miles you need to travel.
What basic driver tasks or checks could I be saving money on?
A shocking 28% of British millennials say they can’t be bothered to learn about basic car checks - but these checks could prolong the life of your vehicle and keep it running safely and smoothly - and will probably save you hundreds in repair costs if issues as you won’t be leaving issues to develop or get worse.
While millennials are put off learning, non-millennials would also rather pay someone to do these tasks for them - but they’re actually very easy and safe to do once you know how.
Here are five simple and easy checks you should perform on your car on a regular basis:
- Tyre pressure: You should be checking your tyre pressure on a monthly basis - this is really easy, and you’ll just need a tyre pressure gauge - you can pick one of these up at any motoring store or petrol station for cheap. Check out our more in-depth guide on how to do this below.
- Tyre tread depth: You need a tread depth measurer, which you can pick up for cheap at any motoring shop. You need to use the measurer to ensure the tread (ridges) on your tyres are all deeper than 1.6mm, otherwise, they’re not legal.
- Oil: To check your oil, you need to pop the bonnet (usually by pulling the lever in your footwell) and locate your dipstick. Remove it, wipe the oil off, push it all the way in, wait a little, and pull it out. There are two marks on the dipstick - min and max. Ensure oil has covered the dipstick above the min mark and below the max mark. If it’s under the min mark, you need to fill it up. You should do this after you’ve driven, but you must let your car cool down.
- Lights: You should regularly check all of your lights are working - turn on your headlights, fog-lights, full beams and your hazard lights (to check all of the indicators) to ensure everything is working. If you notice any flickering, dimming or lights not turning on, you need to replace them immediately.
- Leaks: Once you’ve left your car stationary for some time - perhaps when it’s been parked overnight - take a look on the floor underneath your car to make sure there aren’t any puddles from where liquid has leaked out. If you spot any puddles or drips from your car, you need to get in touch with a mechanic immediately.
How do I check my tyre pressure?
It’s important to keep your tyre pressure within the correct range, yet 45% of millennials don’t know how to check their own tyre pressure - and neither do 28% of non-millennials.
Deflated tyres mean your car will handle poorly, get worse fuel economy, and the tyres will wear rapidly at the edges – which means you’ll have to replace them faster, which is a pretty costly task.
Over-inflated tyres decrease your grip on the road and wear much more rapidly in the centre - again leading you to replace them earlier than you would have.
Both under and over-inflated tyres are at risk of popping at any point - even when driving - which can be extremely dangerous. Here’s how to check your tyre pressure:
● Find the correct tyre pressure reading for your car: You can usually find this information in your owner’s manual, inside of the driver’s door ledge or inside the petrol cap. If you can’t find it anywhere, try and find your car model on the National Tyre Service website.
● Get a pressure gauge: You can find pressure gauges for a low cost at most motoring stores and online. Digital ones are more popular, as they give accurate, easy to read measurements.
● Take a reading: Take off your dust caps (these are the twist off caps that stick out on the outer rim of your alloys). Insert the pressure gauge tip into the port under your dust caps and reference the reading you get with the correct range you found. Repeat this step on all of your tyres.
● Act accordingly: If your tyre pressure is fine, just pop your dust caps back on and make sure they’re secure. If over inflated, leave them off for a while and allow some air to escape, then retake the reading until they’re in the correct range. If they’re under-inflated, pump your tyres up at home if you have a pump, or you can do this at most petrol stations.
● Repeat this process at least once a month.
If you’ve recently purchased a car from the CarShop and you’ve got more questions about your car, get in touch with a member of our team for help and advice.