Negosentro.com | 7 Car Maintenance Mistakes That Do the Most Damage to Your Vehicle | Aside from a house, a car is likely to be the most significant investment that an average individual makes. For this reason alone, it should come as no surprise that car care and maintenance is a top priority.
Because most vehicles today use top-of-the-line technology, choosing to go the DIY route on performing car maintenance tasks is not an option for most car owners. Any driver would understand that adhering to a periodic car maintenance schedule is more cost-effective compared to delaying repairs only to be surprised by car problems in the future.
To help you avoid any mishaps while driving, below are the seven common car maintenance mistakes you should never make to save yourself from trouble caused by car damage later.
Forgetting to Check the Tire Pressure
Regular tire checkups do more than just prevent flat tires – they also ensure that your car uses just the right amount of gas. This is because tires that were not inflated enough can cause the car to consume more fuel than it normally would.
Also, you should make sure that your tires are regularly rotated to help them last longer.
Not Changing the Oil Regularly
Forgetting to change their vehicle’s oil is another major maintenance blunder that many car owners make. Although newer cars require fewer oil changes, they still need to undergo the service at least every 10,000 Kms.
Keep in mind that unchanged oil becomes dirty, which will then cause high-tech engines to fail. This is because used old engine oil can cause camshaft actuators to freeze.
If this component fails, you might find the “check engine” light turned on. And when it remains unattended for too long, it can lead to complete engine failure.
Fortunately, preventing this issue is quite straightforward. You only need to follow the manufacturer’s recommended oil change schedule. For newer models, the service interval can be around 12 months.
Ignoring the “Check Engine” Light
Indicator lights are placed in your car’s dashboard for a reason – to warn you if something is amiss. However, many car owners still choose to ignore these warnings, especially when the “check engine” light is on.
This shouldn’t be the case. In fact, letting the problem go unfixed for too long can cause what could have been a small repair to become a bigger, more expensive issue.
One of the most common reasons behind a switched-on indicator light is a faulty oxygen sensor caused by a dirty air filter. When this happens, your car’s gas mileage is reduced, causing it to misfire. In some cases, it can result in a costly converter replacement.
Not Changing Old Wipers
Windshield wipers are a big help in ensuring car owners engage in safe driving, especially when they often encounter adverse weather conditions. Fortunately, windshield wiper replacement is a very affordable – not to mention, easy – car care and maintenance task.
But while this is true (and known to almost all), many drivers still neglect this particular task.
To make sure your wipers are working the way they should, check for cracks in the blades and streaks on the windshield when you turn them on. To be sure, it is best to change them every six months.
Failing to Inspect the Brakes
Inspecting and changing the brake pads may cost more than you’re willing to pay, but it will be worth the amount you shell out. This is because leaving old brake pads on too long can wear the mechanism down completely. Not only will this require you to get your brakes repaired, but it could also result in broken rotators that cost much more than brake pad replacement.
To avoid this, you must remember to watch out for tell-tale signs that indicate the need for brake maintenance. This can come in the form of squeaking noises heard when the brakes are applied.
Not Replacing Light Bulbs
Another easy yet essential car maintenance task that many drivers tend to neglect is replacing the light bulbs. Knowing when this is necessary should be quite obvious for headlights and beams. However, you might need to do a closer inspection of the vehicle to see whether the taillights, brake lights, and running lights are in good shape.
Not Knowing How to Use Jumper Cables
Having jumper cables tucked inside the trunk of your car doesn’t automatically make you an expert at jumpstarting another vehicle. Remember that improper use of these tools could end up frying your car – and harming you or other people nearby.
While the procedure is very simple, you must still learn how to properly perform the task well in advance — even before you actually need to do it.
To help you out, here are some important things that a step-by-step vehicle jumpstart guide may leave out:
- Put your own safety first. Be sure to get out of the way of traffic. Avoid smoking while performing a jumpstart. Wear proper eye protection during the process.
- Put a safe distance between the two vehicles. Make sure that both cars are parked close enough for the cables to reach, but not too close that they will touch. Be sure that the connector ends or cables only touch the correct terminals.
- Be patient. If it doesn’t fire up the first time, don’t just keep cranking. Allow a little more time before you repeat the procedure.
- Keep the ignition off before attaching the cables. This should be done on both cars. Even the lights should be switched off.
Avoid Making Maintenance Mistakes to Prevent Car Damage
Most maintenance mistakes involve neglecting proper routine maintenance and ignoring the warning signs that your vehicle needs to be repaired. Rather than holding back on small repairs today, you should consider saving yourself from the hassle of facing greater expenses later on by performing regular and proper maintenance for your car.