"For want of a nail the shoe was lost" Those that know the whole saying will understand the importance of maintaining one of their most important tools that give them self reliance. Just because it's not "broken" at the moment doesn't mean it doesn't need checking and maintaining. After over 30 years of repairing vehicles it's gotten to the point where most maintenance plans require a tow truck. If you truly want to be more self reliant learn more about your vehicle and what it takes to maintain it. Start with reading and understanding your owners manual BEFORE you do anything. Be careful about listening to old wives tales or old mechanics tales about what to do to your car, you can cause more damage than good. Beware of the mechanic that "knows everything about every car". There is no such person in todays world. After reading your manual progress to checking the very basics needed for operation. Learn how to check your oil level, transmission fluid level, brake fluid, power steering fluid,washer fluid,and coolant level. Learn what the proper inflation pressure for your vehicles tires are and check them as part of your regular maintenance check. Check ALL of your lights as part of your maintenance check. Keep records of when you check and any variations you find when checking. If you suspect something wrong or have a question just ask, but be sure to get good information. This is not just a rant, it is an offer of advice. This advice could save you thousands of dollars in repairs on a vehicle today. If you don't believe it just call a good shop and get a price of replacement of an engine or transmission on your vehicle. Now that the weather has turned cold I hope it's not too late to remind people to check the protection level of your antifreeze. I've seen many vehicles damaged because of an unexpected extreme cold snap. If you are unsure of yourself or uneasy in any way of doing this yourself have someone competent check it for you. Also KNOW what antifreeze belogs in your vehicle so you don't contaminate the system by adding the wrong type. Manufacturers started changing formulation over 10 years ago so be sure! Got questions?,ask away. I'm sure that there are many on this board that can give you the correct answer.