Just as neglecting your health can land you in serious health problems, ignoring the little faults in the performance of your car can result in big trouble along the line. With the economy being none too stable, cars are being used longer than normal and car owners are resorting to DIY repairs mostly. Whether you see to your vehicle’s maintenance on your own, or use a professional mechanic, here are some car maintenance pitfalls to avoid at all costs, if you value your car and your safety.
1. Postponing maintenance
The first and most common maintenance mistake is putting off the manufacturer recommended or scheduled maintenance.
2. Not noticing the check engine light
Many people ignore the light, when the car seems to go smoothly. The repair is put off until the vehicle breaks down one fine day. The longer you delay having the car checked, the bigger will be the cost of repair.
3. Ignoring tire pressure check
In spite of tires appearing inflated, the air pressure could be low. This leads to increased fuel consumption and loss of performance. Tires lose pressure with every ten-degree drop in temperature. So, it is best to check the pressure and prevent poor fuel efficiency.
4. Ignoring oil change
While an oil change is not needed until around 7800 miles have been covered at present, you need to still check the engine oil. Without adequate oil, the engine will not function properly and may stop working completely. When the oil is left inside the engine for long periods, it breaks down causing sludge to form, which can damage the engine parts and give you a hefty repair bill.
5. Not checking the fluids
Most people think that motor oil is the only fluid to be checked. Transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid and engine coolant are other fluids that need to be checked, so the vehicle operates smoothly and efficiently.
6. Neglecting TPMS Light
TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) light indicates that a single or more than one tire is deflated. When this light is on, you need to stop at the nearest gas station and check the pressure and add air if necessary.
7. Driving when the engine is overheated
Overheated engine is a sure sign of trouble and the vehicle should be stopped immediately. Overheating occurs, when the cooling system in the engine fails.
8. Dirty and neglected filters
Filters should be cleaned regularly for optimal functioning. Unclean filters lead to contaminants entering the engine, fuel or the air conditioner parts. This leads to loss of gas mileage, wearing of parts and damage to engine.
9. Ignoring brake inspection
Worn out brakes, give a typical squealing noise. When you ignore this, you are jeopardizing the safety of your vehicle and its passengers. A grinding or squealing noise, while braking indicates damage to brakes and should be seen to immediately.
10. Improper wheel alignment
If you do not rotate your tires or have them aligned at regular intervals, it can cause big issues. Tires should be rotated for every five thousand to ten thousand miles, or according to the manufacturer’s recommendation.
11. Doing repair jobs without proper knowledge
Attempting to do the repairs without the proper equipment, tools and knowledge can cause even bigger damage to your vehicle as the present day vehicles are computerized and need professional care for proper operation.
12. Neglecting windshield wiper change
Worn out or damaged wipers cause streaky wipes and also reduce the visibility level in case of snow, rain etc.
13. Using home cleaning agents for rear windshield cleaning
The ammonia in the household cleaning solution can damage the heating elements in the rear windshield and affect its defrosting capability.