Your car might be one of the most expensive possessions you own. Therefore, it is essential to take proper care of it for it to last. Car maintenance can be confusing if you don’t know much about cars, but you’ll lose a lot of money and time without doing consistent adequate maintenance.
There are a few mistakes that many car owners make when it comes to maintenance. Some car owners may not even realize they’re making these mistakes. While most people don’t know everything there is about cars, you should at least be aware of common failures and mistakes to avoid making them yourself.
In this article, we’ll go over ten huge car care mistakes you can easily avoid. Keep reading to learn more about what you need to know and how to take care of it.
1. Skipping oil changes
Skipping oil changes is a costly car care mistake that you can easily avoid and prolong your car’s longevity. While newer cars don’t need any oil change as frequently as the older models, you should still get your oil changed regularly. If the oil gets grimy, it will not lubricate the car’s engine effectively and prevent it from overheating.
Avoiding oil changes will do more damage in the long run, and repairs will cost more than the oil change itself. To prevent this, stay on top of your oil changes.
2. Not checking the tire pressure
Forgetting to check the air pressure of your car tires is a common mistake that you can avoid. Low tire pressure can damage your tires when driven on and reduce the lifespan of them. If you’ve ever replaced tires, you know how expensive they can be.
Also, the outside weather can have a significant effect on your tire pressure. When there is 10 degrees temperature drop outside, your car tires lose one to two lbs of air pressure. Therefore, it is good to check your car tire frequently. After all, the last thing you want is a low gas mileage or flat tire in a deserted or lonely road.
3. Ignoring the dashboard warning lights
Ignoring warning lights is yet another expensive car care mistake that can be easily avoided. Warning lights are usually installed in your car for reasons like indicating signs that tell you to check certain things in the car. These are things like check engine light, level of engine oil, gas cap, oxygen sensors, or mass airflow sensors.
Furthermore, all these warning lights are located on the dashboard, and it remains illuminated even after you have started the engine to show you when there is an electrical component that needs replacement or is at fault. It would help if you didn’t ignore some of these warnings because they can result in a small problem becoming even worse.
4. Not doing routine wheel car service
Checking the wheels regularly can be easily overlooked, which can result in a fatal accident. You could be driving with misaligned wheels that cause serious issues and need proper care. You can ensure that your car has the right balance by taking your vehicle for wheel alignment service.
5. Not having car insurance
You should always have a car insurance plan when you own and operate a vehicle. Many drivers choose to ignore insurance even though it is illegal to do so in most states. Having a car insurance plan can save you a lot of money in the long run and protect other drivers as well. When looking into car insurance plans, consider a good company, such as a Nationwide car insurance plan. The truth is that if you don’t have car insurance, you probably shouldn’t own a car anyway. Keep the roads safe.
6. Getting your car services at roadside garages
If you don’t know much about a car or it’s technicalities, it is easier to be robbed by those roadside mechanics who will use cheap inferior quality parts, which do not come with a guarantee. Therefore, you will have to visit them regularly, and the need to service your car at cheaper rates becomes even more expensive and inconvenient.
7. Neglecting fluid checks
Some people believe that engine oil is the only vital fluid to be checked and changed. Ultimately, it is true that the motor oil is one of the essential fluids of your car; there are other fluids in the vehicle that should be topped up or exchanged and checked frequently. These are fluids like power steering fluid, engine coolant, transmission fluid, and brake fluid. Checking and servicing them helps to prevent leaks and maintains your car in good condition.
8. Failing to wash your car
Bird droppings and tree sap wreak havoc on your car’s exterior. Also, salty air from the ocean and road salt that falls during winter storms can corrode your vehicle if not washed regularly. This simple ignorance could cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars when it’s time to trade or sell the car. Don’t forget to clean the interior, and interior damages and stains can reduce the resale value in the future.
9. Ignoring critical engine condition
When driving, an engine can get extremely hot; hence it requires a cooling system to prevent overheating. If the cooling system has failed, the car should be stopped immediately and turned off and then call for a tow. Failure to address this issue can lead to an accident or injury.
Radiator hoses start to show wear with time, and they can eventually begin leaking or cracking. These are the essentials that help to keep the cooling system of your car working correctly. When the hoses fail, the car’s engine may start overheating, which results in costly repairs.
If you know little about cars, you can still understand the importance of avoiding the common care mistakes that people believe don’t affect their vehicle. However, the truth is that some of these mistakes can result in fatal accidents if ignored. Do your part in keeping the roads safe by maintaining your vehicle and driving safely.