A car is probably your most expensive possession after your house, and it’s a necessary part of modern life.
Unfortunately, cars are not only expensive to buy, but they are also expensive to insure and maintain. However, by paying attention to a few key things and avoiding common maintenance and repair mistakes, you can easily keep your car on the road for a longer time and more money in your pockets. Read on to find out common, costly car care blunders you should avoid.
1. Repairing the windshield yourself
You may be on a budget and want to save a few dollars by replacing your windshield or repairing a chip in your windshield by yourself. Instead, you should consider hiring auto glass repair specialists to do the work. While you can replace your headlight bulb or change the oil on your own, it’s possible that you can cause more problems if you try to fix any windshield problem yourself. You may have watched tutorials on YouTube that make repairing windshield look easy, but remember these are professionals who have probably repaired hundreds of windshields. In addition, you may not have the right tools required for the task, which increases the chances of the roof falling on you.
2. Ignoring required maintenance
Putting off scheduled or required maintenance is the biggest car maintenance mistake you can make and could leave your car inoperable. Although it can be expensive to maintain your car according to factory requirements, at least pay attention to preventive maintenance and repairs like changing oil filters, checking the coolant levels, and changing the transmission fluid. Paying attention to such little things can save thousands of dollars in more substantial repairs down the road.
3. Failure to keep your tires properly inflated
While these might not seem like a big deal, underinflated tires reduce your gas mileage and cause uneven wear, and most importantly, they make you more vulnerable to accidents. Check your tires pressure regularly to ensure they are properly inflated.
4. Ignoring warning lights
It is crucial you pay attention to warning lights, such as the “check engine” light, as they could be warning you about a serious maintenance problem that could result in unsafe driving or costly repairs. Read your owner’s manual and get familiar with what the different dashboard warning lights mean and what action you should take.
5. Using a discount mechanic
You probably want to save a few bucks on car maintenance and repairs, especially when the part or accessory you want to replace is already expensive. However, not all mechanics are equal, and the incompetent ones may use low prices to attract customers. That’s not to say you need the most expensive ones. Take your time to compare the prices, read reviews and ask for referrals from friends and family.
6. Using the wrong oil
Using the wrong oil can result in decreased lubrication and shorter engine lifespan. In addition, your car may fail to start in cold weather, and the oil may start to leak. When the time to change your oil comes, be sure to use the car manufacturer’s recommended oil type.
A car is an expensive possession to buy, maintain and insure, and you don’t want to incur unnecessary costs by making these mistakes. Avoid doing windshield repairs by yourself, using a discount mechanic, ignoring scheduled maintenance, and using the wrong oil.