When our vehicle starts to acting up or not working like it once did, many of us ignore the issues when it seems small. Small issues are easy to take for granted. Sadly sometimes important things can go wrong without notice. However regular preventative maintenance can insure your vehicle will work optimally. When life gets in the way keeping your vehicle maintained can sometimes be tough. So I complied a list to help you prioritize and plan here is a list of 9 Common Car Maintenance Mistakes and what you can do to avoid them.
1. Don’t Jump Starting a Car When Your Really Not Sure How
If you find you need a jump or someone else, not knowing how to do it properly can fry you or the car. Although using jumper cables is pretty simple, it’s important you learn how it’s done the right way before you ever need to use them. You can use this easy to read step-by-step guide “How to Jump Start a Car“.
2. Never Ignore the Check Engine Light
When the Check Engine light comes on it can be pretty easy to ignore if you don’t notice any signs of something being wrong. So since everything seems ok you find yourself not worrying much about it until the next day or even next week or longer. Next thing you have put it off so long that your car has now broken down. It’s important to have your vehicle checked as soon as possible when your Check Engine Light pops on. Waiting could cost you more money down the road. Getting it checked right away will save you money in the long run.
3. Don’t Push Worn Tires To Last Longer
Rubber deteriorates over time, and it’s important to know the date of your tires. So even if they are not worn yet you still know when they should be changed out for new ones. Although it can be very easy to try and squeeze out few more miles on your tires, it’s never wise to do so. Maintain your vehicle and change things when they are needed. It’s important that your car has proper contact with the road at all times. Some damage is not always easy to see, but tiny cracks cause loss of structural rigidity, which means your tires will not perform as they were designed to do.
4. Never Skip Oil Changes
If you don’t change your oil eventually the engine seizes up and dies. There is no way to fix that without buying a new engine which can cost thousands of dollars. Your cars engine needs motor oil to run properly. If you leave the motor oil in the engine to long without getting an oil change, the oil will begin to break down. This will result in deposits of sludge in your engine. What happens next is that the oil will no longer cool and lubricate the engine parts, but instead damage the parts and eventually cause it to seize up. Getting regular oil changes will help to ensure a long engine life.
5. Only Use Automotive Glass Cleaner for Your Rear Windshield
If you don’t already know home glass cleaners are ammonia based, and over time that ammonia will break down the thin red lines you see on your rear windshield. These red lines are heating elements that are meant to assist with defrosting the windshield. That’s why it’s important to use automotive glass cleaner verses home window cleaner.
6. Don’t Drive When the Engine is Overheating
Many people including mechanics have admitted to driving when they had an over heating engine. While knowing and saying it’s not wise to do. When a vehicle fails to cool the engine you need to stop immediately. Engines get extremely hot when they are ruining and need to be cooled down by the cooling system to avoid over heating. If you are in the situation were your car overheats, pullover and call a tow.
7. Make Sure to Inspect Your Brakes
It’s easy to blame squealing breaks on the rain or ignore the noise. But you should never do this, because that sound is coming from worn-down brakes. Brakes are one of the most important parts of your vehicle. If your breaks get worn down, and stop working properly, you are now driving a very unsafe vehicle and putting you and your passengers at risk. Next time you hear squealing or maybe a grinding noise when you brake, make sure to have your breaks checked as soon as possible.
8. Neglecting Fluid Checks
Motor oil is not the only fluid that needs to be checked in your vehicle. However even though motor oil is one of the most important fluids in your vehicle, you have to remember there are many others that should be checked as well. These fluids may need to be changed out or topped off. Some of the other fluids are: Brake fluid, transmission fluid, engine coolant, and power steering fluid. Make sure to keep your car maintained and get these fluids checked and serviced as recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. This will avoid any leaks later on, and keep your vehicle operating properly.
9. Rotating Tires and Wheel Alignment
Even when things seem fine you don’t want to be driving on misaligned wheels. This can cause some issues you don’t want. If your not sure if you need an alignment there is only one way to find out, and that is to have the alignment checked by a professional. Most manufacturers recommend tires should be rotated every 5,000 to 10,000 miles but check your owner’s manual to make sure.
Don’t let life get in the way of your safety. Keep your vehicle maintained so you don’t get stuck on the side of the road somewhere spending countless dollars. Being aware of these 9 Common Car Maintenance mistakes will help you in the long run.
Has your car been giving you lots of problems? Maybe it’s time to get a new one. Stop by Hill View Motors today and take one for a test drive.