7 Common Car Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid to Save Money and Extend Life of Your Car
You don’t have to be a car expert to know the basics of car maintenance. Maintaining proper care for your vehicle will save your wallet in the long run. Neglecting basic care for your car will shorten the life of the vehicle and create more expensive necessary repairs. Help improve your car’s health, extend its life, and keep some dollars in your wallet over time.
Seven of the most common maintenance mistakes are:
- Not Checking Tire Pressure. Did you know that having inflated tires will actually cause your car to eat more gas than it regularly would? With the changing temperatures and humidity levels from Spring to Summer, tire pressure easily fluctuates. Keep a fuel gauge handy in your console and quickly check your tire pressure while pumping gas every so often.
- Neglecting Oil Changes. I think everyone’s dad told them at some point in life to change their oil every 3,000 miles. This is not necessarily true in newer vehicles. But, it is important to keep a check on your oil and make sure it is changed on schedule. Check your car’s manual. It should tell you the recommended mileage for an oil change for your car. It’s definitely a good idea to be sure it is changed between every 8,000-10,000 miles. Keeping bad oil in your car will damage the engine.
- Not Inspecting Brakes. If your brakes start squeaking and you haven’t recently checked your brake pads, it’s a good time to get them checked out. Often, mechanics will check your brake pads at no cost. They may just be squeaking, or it may indicate too much wear. If the pads wear down completely, then the brakes start wearing on the rotators.
- Old Wipers. How many times has it rained and you’ve thought to yourself, “I really need to get new windshield wipers?” This maintenance for your car is relatively inexpensive and are easily replaced (if you add buying new wipers to your to-do list). If you start seeing streaks, cracks in the blades, and the clarity is getting less when you need them, then go ahead and snap on a new pair.
- Old Air Filters. Filters for your car are also on the list of relatively easy and inexpensive maintenance guidelines. Leaving old and dirty air and fuel filters in your car too long can cause larger issues over time. Usually, your air and fuel filters are checked with regular oil changes. But, this is also something that you can easily do yourself by taking a quick look at your car manual and lifting up the hood.
- Not Performing Regular Fluid Checks. This goes right along with your oil changes. Your coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and other fluids should be checked regularly. This is also a maintenance guideline that will cost you more money by ignoring. You want your engine to run smoothly and these fluids are part of that process.
- Ignoring Dashboard Lights. This could be for tire pressure, your engine, or something else. If a light comes on your dashboard, don’t ignore it. If you don’t know what the symbol means, then reach again for your car manual. It will have a list of possible lights that will appear when something isn’t quite right with your car. These lights are good indicators for you, even if you are following all the maintenance guidelines.
These vehicle maintenance guidelines may seem confusing if you aren’t familiar with the basics. But, they are easier than you might think! Next time your car is in the shop for a regular check-up, see if the mechanic will go over some of the basics with you for you to better understand your car. Performing maintenance on your car on a consistent schedule will allow your car to last you longer and keep you safe on the road.