What’s a VIN? When do I get my oil changed? What does that light on my car mean? Cars can be intimidating. OneRequest is here to make car shopping easy, but we are also here to alleviate your stress and educate you about your vehicle.  Here are five things you should know about your car.

Year, Make, Model

The easiest way to quickly identify a vehicle is its year, make and model. A car's "year" typically correlates to the year for which the manufacturer made the vehicle, not necessarily when the manufacturer sells the vehicle. Manufacturers vary in their approach to assigning years to their vehicles.  Some brands are currently releasing 2021 vehicles, while others are already releasing 2022 vehicles. Fun fact: the word "make" is derived from the word "automaker." The make tells you the brand that manufactured and released the vehicle. A vehicle's model is the style and body type of car found within a particular make.  A Toyota Camry is a different model than a Toyota Sienna, but both have the same make: Toyota.  


OK, so you might think: “What the heck is that and why do I need another acronym in my life?” VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number.  It is a unique code—think of it as a car's social security number—that allows the automotive industry to identify individual vehicles, trucks, motorcycles, scooters and even mopeds. Your vehicle’s VIN tells a lot about your vehicle, from year/make/model, down to engine size, country of origin and airbag type. VINs are made up of 17 characters and can be found on your vehicle's dashboard, your insurance card, and your vehicle title and registration.

Curious what each part of your VIN means? Check out this helpful diagram from AutoCheck.

Car Health

As a responsible car owner, you want to routinely maintain your vehicle’s health. Changing the oil in your car is arguably one of the easiest, but most important, ways to maintain its well-being.  The recommended timeline to change your oil is every 3,000-5,000 miles, depending on your vehicle’s year, make, and model. After routinely checking and changing the oil, make sure to care for your tires, including routine tire rotations and regular tire pressure checks.  A preventative maintenance routine can be completed on your own or by a mechanic.

Dashboard Alerts

Listen to your car! Maybe you recognize most of these alerts from Driver’s Ed (if you don’t, that’s ok), and maybe you do what most people do: ignore them! Well, don't.  OneRequest is here to provide a refresh. Familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s dashboard layout.  We promise this will be helpful the next time a random dashboard light pops on.

Here's a helpful key from DashboardSymbol.com!

Stock the Glove Box

We saved the easiest for last: stock your glove box with all of the essentials. This includes your car insurance, car manual, and anything else that’s important for your drives.  Do you frequently feel the sun beating in on your drive? Pack sunglasses! Worried about potential spills in your vehicle? Keep plenty of wipes or napkins. When it comes to the glove box, it’s better to have and not need, than to need and not have. And in 2021, they make a great spot for extra disposable masks if you forget one.

Use OneRequest to find your next car. OneRequest makes car shopping easy.