5 Car Maintenance Mistakes Everyone Should Avoid
The importance of consistent Chevy service cannot be overstated. When you stick to the recommended maintenance schedule, you can protect the health of your car and extend its life. You’ll pay out less in repairs over time, and you won’t have to replace your car as quickly.
Some car maintenance has a bigger impact than others.
Even if you don’t maintain a perfect maintenance schedule, you should at least try to avoid these top five car maintenance mistakes:
Skipping Oil Changes
The oil change is not only the most frequent car maintenance task you must complete, but it is also the most important. You should give an oil change on time every time. You only need to tend to this important car maintenance every three to five months, so there is no reason you can’t find time to fit it into your schedule.
You may need to get an oil change more frequently if you live in a rural area or you drive through poor conditions, such as dusty or muddy roads. You may also need to get more frequent oil changes if you drive your car hard. The best way to know for sure when you need your next oil change is to pay attention to the performance of your car and to check the level and quality of the oil between service visits.
If budget is an issue, you can find great deals on an oil change with coupons, customer loyalty programs and other promotions. You can also invest in a higher-quality synthetic oil change, which will prolong the time between oil changes, helping to lower overall costs.
You only need to get a synthetic oil change every year or so, making it the true cheap oil change, even if it costs more up front.
Driving on Bald Tires
Good tires provide the traction your car needs to handle safely on the road. Tires that are thinning or balding will slip on the road, even if it’s not raining. Add rain or snow, and it’s a recipe for disaster. You’ll easily lose control of your vehicle and spin all over the road.
Balding tires also make it harder for you to stop, which puts you at risk in an emergency situation when you need to react quickly.
Balding tires have thin tread that barely covers the underlying support wires. You could wear through the last bit of rubber while you’re on the highway, having a potentially catastrophic blowout at 60 or 70 mph.
Check your tire tread regularly and replace your tires before it gets too thin. Stick to the schedule for balancing and rotating your tires to prevent premature wearing.
Not Following the Owner’s Manual
While general maintenance guidelines are available that work for most cars, your vehicle is unique and it requires specific care. For example, while some cars may need a cheap oil change every 5,000 miles, your car may not need one sooner at 3,000 miles.
Your owner’s manual will give you detailed information on what maintenance tasks need to be performed and when. The manual will also give you additional information about what is required for that maintenance.
For example, your owner’s manual will tell you if your car requires special oil for the oil change, what kind of air filter you need, the pressure to maintain for your tires, and much more. For any question you have about your car maintenance, you need to refer to your owner’s manual first.
Ignoring the Check Engine Light
The check engine light only comes on where there is a problem with your engine. However, because the problem is not readily evident, you may be tempted to just ignore the light and dismiss it as an electronic fluke.
Just because you can’t hear any funny noises coming from your engine and everything seems to be working fine doesn’t mean that there isn’t a problem.
A spark plug could be on its final miles, or a belt could be ready to snap. The only way to know what the problem is for sure is to bring your car in for service.
Sometimes, not even a mechanic can tell what is triggering the check engine light on first inspection. Sophisticated diagnostic machinery is used to assess the vehicle’s electric system and discovering underlying issues — including whether there really is a glitch that’s triggering the check engine light.
Problems that trigger the check engine light are rarely minor, so it’s never a good idea to ignore this important warning.
Refusing to Fix Crucial Parts
You should fix failing car parts as soon as you become aware of the issue. Allowing these parts to remain in your car can cause other problems and lead to more expensive repairs.
For example, many people continue to drive on their brakes long after they hear the squealing or the grinding that are tell tale signs the brakes need to be changed. Not changing the brakes promptly can lead to damages to the rotors and other important car parts.
Spark plugs, the fuel injector, and the starter are among other car parts that people tend to ignore long after they need replacing or repairs. Minor issues with these parts won’t impair the performance of the car, so drivers tend to put off the repairs.
Don’t be one of them. Make the repairs as soon as you know there is a problem so you can protect your car and prolong its life.
Don’t be complacent about your car maintenance. Read your vehicle owner’s manual and follow the recommended maintenance schedule for your car. Always pay attention to the check engine light, and always make repairs on a timely basis.
You can save money by getting a cheap oil change and getting discounts on other services, but you should never try to save money by skipping out on the maintenance your car needs. You’ll end up paying much more in the long run by getting costly repairs or replacing your car sooner than needed.