10 COMMON MISTAKES CAR OWNERS MAKE (THAT COULD LEAD TO COSTLY REPAIRS)

Your car says a lot about your personality, so does your driving and the cost of maintenance. With good driving habits, much of your car’s expenses can be minimized. Today’s automobiles are designed to last relatively longer with little maintenance. Yet it’s a myth that modern cars are maintenance-free.

Regularly inspecting your car’s fluids, having your tires checked, or conducting a routine checkup are simple things you can do to reduce the cost of repairs, thus extending the life of your vehicle. Your car is a big investment, and for most of us, it’s a possession we want to keep for a long time. But sometimes, our bad habits often get the best of us. Which ones are you guilty of?

10. IGNORING REGULAR MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR

A lot of drivers ignore simple preventive measures such as changing oil and filter; such kind of neglect could potentially damage your engine. The aftermath is often a huge expense in replacement parts or worse, getting a new engine. Failing to repair minor car problems today such as a worn-out brake pad or a failing thermostat could lead to costly repairs tomorrow. Ideally, simple maintenance tasks such as changing transmission fluid or checking coolant levels are tasks car owners can perform on their own or hire a trusted professional mechanic. A rule of thumb is to schedule regular maintenance whether or not your car parts have wear and tear or needs replacement.

9. DRIVINGWITH A FLAT TIRE

A flat tire is just that: a flat tire, and typically, they need replacement. If ignored, it could lead to serious or costly damage. A blown tire during high speeds could put the lives of both the occupants of your vehicle as well as other road users at risk. Driving with low pressure could also damage your tires more, and instead of having a simple tire or pressure fix, you will need a new tire altogether. Make a habit of visual checking your tires before you drive. During a regular oil change, ask your mechanic to check your tires for wear and tear.

8. IGNORING DASHBOARD WARNING SIGNS

Dashboard warning lights can tell you if there’s something wrong with your vehicle, often before a problem becomes severe or endangers life. However, many of us are guilty of ignoring these small symbols, not knowing what they mean or how much it cost to put right. As a general rule of thumb, an orange-yellow warning light means you should seek the advice of a professional mechanic as soon as possible, whereas a red warning light warrants immediate action. Many lights will appear momentarily when you turn on the ignition and disappear once you move off. However, if the light stays on while you’re driving – such as the press clutch or brake pedal – these could be a sign of a fault which shouldn’t be ignored.

7. FAILING TO LUBRICATE YOUR DOORS AND HINGES

Your vehicle’s doors and hinges will need regular lubrication to stay in shape. It’s important to ensure that everything gets greased at least once a year. If your door squeaks every time you open it, it’s time to add some grease. Having dry hinges will not only drive you crazy each time they squeak, but they could also bend or bind if ignored for a while – forcing your vehicle’s doors to go off-center. Regularly greasing your doors will not only keep your car feeling like new, but it will also save you from unexpected door repair costs due to extensive damage.

6. IGNORING STRANGE CAR NOISES

As your vehicle begins to wear, you are likely to hear a few bangs, pops, and whistles as parts degrade. When your vehicle produces these unusual signs, these are often warnings that something needs immediate checking. If ignored, these sounds might get louder, and depending on where they are coming from, your vehicle could break down and stall. It’s important to take note when you hear these noises, as well as the circumstances that might have caused them. A strange noise coming from your tires could indicate a loose bolt or a defective part. When in doubt, have your mechanic check it out. It could save a whole lot of trouble and money.

5. FAILING TO REPLACE YOUR AIR AND FUEL FILTERS

Filters literally trap things that could be detrimental to your body, home, car, and more. Your car is equipped with several filters to help trap pollutants and other foreign objects from entering major components and causing severe damage. The fuel filter, in particular, plays a key role in delivering clean fuel to the engine for combustion. A clogged or damaged fuel filter is bad news and should be checked out by professionals and replaced with quality fuel filter.

4. IGNORING SAFETY RECALLS

Most car owners often ignore recalls and more so, if it’s an issue they haven’t experienced, however, that doesn’t explicitly mean you won’t experience the problem sometime down the line. Often, manufacturers will cater for the cost of repair, which gives you an incentive to have the recall problem fixed. Ignoring a safety recall could potentially put you and other road users in danger. This time you might be liable.

3. CONTRACTING UNQUALIFIED REPAIR WORKSHOPS OR MECHANICS

2. NOT CHANGING YOUR OIL AS SCHEDULED

Every car manufacturer has a recommended maintenance schedule that helps car owners know when it’s time to change their vehicle’s oil. While each car is different, and the old 3,000 mile-rule is outdated, ignoring your manufacturer’s set oil change interval could potentially damage your vehicle’s engine. In some cases, ignoring your oil change interval could nullify your warranty. Some vehicle manufacturers will invalidate your warranty when you fail to keep up with their recommendations.

1. DRIVING ON EMPTY TANK

There are motorists who ignore the warning light on the dash when fuel is in very short supply in a bid to use up every last drop to maximize their mileage. Your vehicle may have a range indicator that can calculate the distance you can travel on the remaining fuel in the tank, but you can’t always trust it as it can be erratic. The numbers aren’t always accurate either. Hence, pushing it is not advisable and immediate tank refilling is always a safe idea.

These are just some common mistakes of motorists whenever on the road, yet the most basic ones that if considered rectifying, will ensure a happier and safer journey wherever you may go.

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