The performance of your car depends to a large extent on you well you maintain it. Your negligence toward car-maintenance could result in your car breaking down sooner than it should. With repair and servicing costs being so high, you could be left with spending considerable amount of money just to get your car working normally again. Well, you can save yourself from all that trouble, if you take good care of your car. In this article, you’ll learn about the most common yet at times expensive mistakes car-owners make and what could be done to remedy them. Read on, to start making smart decisions about your car!
1) Using a Discount Mechanic: There’s nothing wrong in trying to save a few bucks on car repairs, especially when that all important replacement part is quite expensive. But no two mechanics will repair your car the same way. So try to figure out how various mechanics in the area of your vicinity work. Generally, the way to go is strike the balance between the cheapest and the most expensive. It’s best to compare prices between service providers, peruse through the online reviews and get opinion of friends and family for referrals. Pick a shop that you find convenient and well rated based on reviews from multiple sites like Google, Yelp and Openbay. Car repair can prove to be a bother, so make sure the job once done has been done well. You would hate to take a poorly done repair job back for a re-fix to a different mechanic.
2) Filling the Engine With the Incorrect Weight/Type of Oil: Many people would confess to having filled their car engines with incorrect weight or type of oil at one point or another. They don’t think it makes any difference as long as the car engine has been filled with some kind of oil. Still more careless car owners would forget to fill the engine altogether. The mark of such drivers is that they could be recognized approaching from 3 blocks away. Of course it’s a wrong practice; you can’t afford to be negligent with the weight and type of oil you use in your car. The tell-tale signs of filling your engine with the incorrect oil may not come to the surface instantly, but there’s no denying the fact that continuing with this approach would only deteriorate engine overtime. So make sure you pay utmost attention to the type, may it be synthetic, partial synthetic or nonsynthetic and also the correct weight (i.e 10@-30W, 0W, 40, 5W-20, etc.) of the oil required in your vehicle. Don’t fool yourself into believing that your car would acclimatize itself to whatever oil you pour into it.
3) Persisting with the Dirty Filters When You Need New Ones! Air and fuel filters are a significant part of the car’s anatomy. Keeping them dirty and messy can actually wreak havoc on your car. One of the most common reasons for a check engine light coming on is the failed sensor, which in some acute cases can result in the engine misfiring. Turning a blind eye to it could lead to major problems with the catalytic converter. This could result in the car failing to pass emissions inspection until it gets repaired, the cost for which could be around $1,000 for most cars.
4) Ignoring the Scheduled Maintenance: Number of people don’t even bother going through the car manual. But despite seeming nondescript and useless, it does serve a purpose. Your car manual contains everything you wish to know about your car. It also has some very useful DIY fixes for common car issues that can save you money. The car manual would also have information on when you should take your car for inspection and fine-tuning. Following the instruction given in your car manual will ensure the longevity of your vehicle, practically eliminating the need for constant repairs, and help you save thousands of dollars on maintenance.
5) Failing to Rotate Tires and Check Air Pressure: Forgetting to rotate your tires and failing to keep a check on the air pressure on regular basis can cause uneven tread wear and damage the car’s tires. This can further lead to various other potential problems such as strain on steering and suspension parts (viz. tie rod end), vibration while driving and uneven traction. Most car repair shops would rotate the tires for a nominal fee; or you could do it yourself if you’ve got a jack and jack stand at home. As for the air pressure, you can get that checked at almost any local gas station. A key thing to note here is that air temperature affects the tire inflation, so even if you’re not noticing any leakage of air from the tires, you still have to get them checked as the weather changes throughout the year.
6) Overlooking Wear on Brake Pads: Can you identify with that screeching sound a car makers as it comes to a stop? Well that’s its brakes asking for help! Carrying on with such brakes is not just irritating for the people around you, but it can mess up your car overtime. Having the brake pads replaced on regular basis will actually help you save money as a brake rotor will last longer if the pads are changed from time to time. On the other hand, if the pads are left unattended until they’re absolutely worn, they will scratch and score the rotor. As someone who’s had their brakes changed would vouch for it, the most expensive part of the job is the rotors. Therefore, preserve them if you want to save money on your car repairs.
7) Neglecting Brake, Transmission and Other Fluids: Besides fuel there are a number of other fluids your car needs to run efficiently. Obviously you’d have to refer to your owner’s manual for the complete list of fluids and their respective change schedules to get the gist of things. You can even do this job yourself and save some money on both front and backend. Even the most clueless of drivers would be able to replace these fluids very easily. Last but not the least; don’t forget to winterize your car! The harsh cold weather can take toll on your vehicle if it catches it un-winterized. Acting on the tips mentioned in this article to dodge the pitfalls will keep your car in good shape and help you save precious time and money that you would otherwise find yourself spending at the car mechanics.
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