Do you still remember the promises you made to yourself when you were buying your car? And how many of these promises have you fulfilled? When it comes to car maintenance, there are a lot of things you should be doing and not be doing. Poor car maintenance habits do not just impact the condition of your car but it also burns your pocket, while good car maintenance habits will improve your car’s reliability and extend the lifespan of your car. There are many things that can cause your car to malfunction but a personal suggestion is; “Always listen to your car as you don’t need a mechanic to tell you that your car needs care.” Here are 5 common mistakes that can destroy your car;
- Ignoring dashboard warning lights:
Ignoring your car dashboard warning light is an expensive maintenance mistake. It was named a warning light for a reason. When the indicator lights such as the “Check Engine” light sign on your dashboard (mostly located next to the speedometer) continue to illuminate even when the engine has started, there should be no form of procrastination as it means either the oil levels are low or the Oxygen Sensors, Gas Cap or mass airflow sensors or any other electrical component is faulty and needs to be replaced. Take your car in for a check-up as quick as you can. A stitch in time saves nine!
- Skipping oil changes:
This is a very expensive car maintenance mistake. Despite the fact that newer car models do not need oil change as frequently as the older cars require, this should always be done timely and regularly. If you allow the oil to get too grimy, it won’t be able to lubricate the engine effectively and also prevent the engine from overheating. Prolonged usage over a period of time will result in sludge formation in the oil, which can critically damage your car’s engine chamber and valves- very expensive parts to replace! Generally, most car manufacturers will recommend an oil change based on a given period (ex. every 3 months) or by the car’s mileage (ex. every 47000 KM). It is your responsibility to be aware of this information so you can schedule an appointment timely.
- Neglecting fluid checks:
It is a common misconception that engine oil is the only fluid in the car that needs to be checked and changed. It’s true that motor oil is one of the most critical fluids in your car but there are many other fluids in the car that must be checked, changed, and topped up. Transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid and engine coolant should all be checked and changed as recommended by the car manufacturer. Doing this helps to keep your car operating properly.
- Ignoring brake wear:
The brakes of an automobile are designed to work silently. So if you hear a screeching or grinding noise when you step on the brake pedal, your car certainly has some sort of braking faults. Brake wear is an un-determinate science; in some cases, the brake pads go 70,000 miles while in other cases, they may end up at 25,000 miles only. All of these depend on the type of car, the usage and your driving style. Brake fluid leakage is probably the worst thing that can happen as it can cause the car to lose all of its braking power. For safety, brake fluids should be changed after every 2 years irrespective of the mileage covered.
- Not checking your tyre pressure:
It is a common car maintenance mistake to forget to check the tyre air pressure just as a lot of motorists forget to restore their headlights using headlight restoration wipes. Though the tyres may not blow out, low tyre pressure can lead to poor fuel economy and your wallet will definitely still be affected. The weather outside has a huge effect on your tyre pressure. Tyres lose about 1 to 2 lbs. of air pressure for every 10°C drop in temperature. Therefore, it is always advised to check your tyre pressure regularly because you never know when it will get low. The last thing you want is to have a flat tyre or poor gas mileage.
It is quite pointless to say that we are all different. Some of us may take the time to check fluids, head and tail lights, tire pressure for performance, also, some of us take the beast we drive for granted. After all, these cars are meant to be driven and trucks even driven harder. Very interesting point of view; but when you put into consideration the price of a new car or truck in recent days, keeping it running should be a necessity. For the people who unlock the doors, turn on the ignition and drive out on a regular basis without even checking to see when last your car was serviced are headed for a costly conversation with the mechanic. Always listen to your car as there are certain defects that come with modern cars.