Every car requires regular maintenance to give you the best service and to last long.
Unfortunately, most people don’t take the time to maintain their cars, either because they are busy or do not think it’s essential.
That is not the ideal way to deal with your vehicle. It’s a major mistake that can damage it or shorten its lifespan.
If you knew the true cost of not maintaining your vehicle, you would take better care of it.
However, as you take care of your car, here are seven maintenance mistakes you should avoid.
1. Ignoring Warning Lights and Funny Noises
Immediately you see warning lights on your dashboard or hear a noise, get it checked out.
For example, if your brake pads are making squeaky sounds, replace them to avoid damaging the brake rotors.
If your headlights are faulty and the indicator lights warn you about it, get them checked instantly to keep from causing an accident.
You don’t have to wait until your car has a serious breakdown to take it for a check-up.
2. Not changing Fluids and Oils at the Right Time
Your car should use motor oil, transmission fluid, engine coolant, brake fluid, and power steering fluid for a certain period.
After the set time, these oils and fluids need changing or topping up.
Your car manufacturer recommends how often you should change or top up your motor oil or fluids.
Check the levels often and any time you notice they are below the recommended levels, top them up.
Look out for leaks as well and get them fixed.
3. Avoiding Routine Car Service
After driving your vehicle for a certain number of miles, you need to take it for service. Ideally, cars should be serviced every 10,000 to 12,000 miles.
You could also time your car service per month, in which case you need to service it after every six months.
Avoid the temptation to service your car at home. It’s better to take it to your mechanic, where they have diagnostic equipment, the right tools, and expertise, to identify issues and fix them.
4. Neglecting your Tires
Problems with tire pressure reduce tire life, affect fuel economy, and strain your car suspension.
Therefore, always keep an eye on your tire pressure monitoring system to ensure they are as required.
You can find your vehicle’s recommended tire pressure by looking at your manual or a tire pressure sticker inside the driver’s door.
Since many factors affect tire pressure, you are safer checking the wear and tear of your tires even if they look well-inflated.
Rotating your tires and aligning them is also vital. Your car suspension is connected to the car tires, which can misalign if you hit the curb or drive on rough roads. Making sure your tires are correctly aligned at all times will ensure you drive straight and prevent unnecessary wear and tear.
Rotate your tires every 5000 to 8000 miles by moving the back ones to the front and vice versa. This ensures they wear out evenly.
5. Using knock-off Car Parts and the Wrong Products
You may think you are saving money by using knock-off spare parts on your car, but they won’t perform as well as the authentic ones.
Always buy original equipment manufacturer (OEM) car parts to extend the lifespan of your vehicle.
Also, don’t wait until it’s too late to replace a worn-out part. You will know it’s time when it’s no longer working as intended. For example, the air filter needs replacing if your engine is misfiring or black smoke comes from the exhaust.
As you use original car parts, also invest in the right car products.
Using the wrong products for car maintenance can lead to unnecessary damage. For example, the wrong car soap can oxidize your paint job and make it look dull.
6. Not Keeping your Car Clean
Your car may run efficiently, but if it’s dirty inside and outside, that will ruin its value in the long run.
Any dirt in your car can result in broken panels, cracked upholstery, and bad smells that will ruin the interior.
Dirt can also decrease your car’s fuel efficiency because when you clean and wax your vehicle, it improves airflow across its surface, causing less friction which gives you better gas mileage.
Don’t forget that cleaning your vehicle can keep you from suffering an accident. A dirty windshield affects visibility which can lead to a crash.
So, please take time to clean your car often.
7. Not Following Manufacturers Instructions
If you are committed to keeping your car in great shape with all the recommended tips above, you cannot do it without looking at your car owner’s manual.
Your car manual will tell you the kind of gas to use when to service it, how to change different fluids, and replace worn-out parts.
Doing something that is not recommended in your car manual can void your warranty. For example, fueling it with the wrong gas, which eventually damages the engine, will hamper your chances of getting help from the manufacturer.
You may find this list of car maintenance mistakes exhausting and decide to keep your vehicle at home.
Well, unfortunately, when you park your car at home, it could get worn out anyway. Animals may make a home of it and damage things like upholstery and wiring. The car battery may also run low due to lack of regular charging, and, some of your parts may fall prey to rust.
The best thing to do is make a habit of doing regular maintenance using the tips we have given you here. If you need to park your car at home, make sure you drive it at least once a week to keep everything running correctly.