8. Jumpstart a dead battery.
Before jump-starting your car, make sure your battery terminals are clean and the connections are strong. (See number 7.) If everything is in order, check your owner’s manual: Some manufacturers advise against jump-starting, while others offer important instructions. To jump-start most vehicles, attach the positive (often red) clamp of the cables to the dead battery’s positive terminal post, which will often have a red cover or a plus sign (+) for positive. Then, while both vehicles are turned off, attach the second positive clamp to the working vehicle’s positive terminal. Now attach the negative clamp (typically black) to the negative terminal on the working battery. Finally, take the remaining negative clamp and attach it to a non-painted metal surface on the main engine block of the car that won’t start. Start the working car; then, after a minute or two, start the other car. Disconnect in reverse order, being careful to not let any of the clamps touch.
Smart Tip: AAA Battery Service Technicians can test, jump-start, and replace car batteries—a free service for AAA Members.
9. Replace the cabin filter.
If your car was manufactured after 2002, there’s a good chance that the air passes through a cabin filter every time you turn on the fan, air conditioner, or heater. Your owner’s manual will state an interval for replacement, but if you have allergies or have recently driven through wildfire smoke, you may want to replace it sooner. In most vehicles, the filter is located behind the glove box, and it’s usually an easy swap that requires few, if any, tools. Once you’ve exposed the filter compartment (your manual and YouTube can be helpful here), lift the latches to remove the faceplate and replace the filter.