8 Common Car Maintenance Mistakes
Regular Car Maintenance Keeps You Safe
Next to your home, your vehicle is probably one of your most expensive purchases you have made. Accordingly, you should make it a point to keep it in excellent condition so that you can get the most benefit from it. Regular car maintenance is how that’s done.
As a vehicle owner, one of your primary requirements is to take care of your vehicle through proper maintenance. No matter how busy you are or how hectic your lifestyle is, there’s no excuse for not having your car checked. In a way, it’s similar to having a child. Even if your child isn’t sick, you still bring him/her to the doctor for a regular check-up, right? Just like your vehicle. Even if there doesn’t appear to be anything wrong, there’s still a need for regular maintenance check, precisely to ensure that your vehicle continues to run without any problems.
Aside from following your recommended car maintenance schedule, try to avoid the following mistakes to keep your vehicle in tiptop shape, and hopefully avoid a collision that lands you at Big Sky Collision Center.
Postponing or delaying oil change
While newer car models do not need oil change as frequently as older cars do, oil change should still be done regularly. If you let your oil get too dirty, it will not be able to properly do its function of lubricating your engine and preventing it from overheating.
Typically, your car manufacturer will recommend an oil change based on a given period (ex. every 3 months) or your mileage (ex. every 3,000 miles). It is part of your responsibility to be aware of this information so you can schedule an appointment for oil change at the proper time.
High quality synthetic oils can last up to 6 months and 5,000 miles. But it’s best not to push it.
Neglecting to check your tires
Tires lose pressure and leak air naturally (especially when the temperature fluctuates dramatically throughout the day) so it is important to ensure that your tires are properly inflated. Keep in mind that under-inflated, as well as over-inflated tires, reduce your car’s fuel efficiency and your tires’ durability. It likewise negatively affects other components of your car such as your suspension and steering. Your safety will be at risk too because you might get a flat tire or a blown out tire under the most unfavorable circumstances. Aside from air pressure, tire maintenance should also include regular tire rotation and alignment.
Failing to inspect your brakes
Like everything else, our brake pads also get worn down and require occasional replacement. When you hear that squeaking noise upon stepping on your brakes, don’t ignore it. Replacing your brake pads might be expensive. But getting into an accident because of faulty brakes is much more costly, especially if there are injuries involved.
Forgetting about brake fluid, coolant, transmission and other fluids
Aside from oil, there are a few other fluids that are essential in keeping your car running smoothly. Like oil change, your car manufacturer also has recommendations regarding the frequency of having these other fluids checked, replenished, and/or replaced. Ignoring these recommended schedules might not only result in damage to the specific component involved. It might damage other parts of your car too. So instead of a minor service bill, you might end up paying for a major repair cost instead.
Ignoring warning lights
Warning lights are called such for a reason. When an indicator light (such as your Check Engine Light) on your dashboard turns on and remains on, there should be no procrastinating. Bring your car in for a check-up as soon as you can. As cliché as it sounds, an ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure. Or in this case, $20 of prevention is better than $2,000 in mechanic bills.
Not changing old parts because they still work
Everything in your car degrades over time. Which means that although these parts continue to work, you shouldn’t be complacent and fall into the habit of waiting for something bad to happen before getting around to changing that old windshield wiper, or those old air filters.
Continuing to drive even when your engine is overheating
Praying and crossing your fingers that you can still make it to your destination (or to the nearest gas station at least) when your engine is already overheating is never a good idea. The best thing to do when your engine overheats is to stop your car, pull over to the side of the road, and call for a tow truck.
Having your car serviced at an unqualified auto shop
Especially if you do not know much about technical auto stuff, it will be so easy to take advantage of you by putting in incorrect or inferior quality parts in your car. Ultimately, your purpose of trying to minimize cost by going to the nearest auto shop (regardless of whether it’s a reputable one or not) might turn out to be doubly damaging for you in terms of additional expenses needed to fix what should have been a routine job, and the added inconvenience of having to go through the same thing twice.
Big Sky Collision Center Fixes Dents
Most of the services listed above are ways that you can prevent needing further mechanical work on your vehicle. We don’t do mechanical work. At least not strictly mechanical.
If you forgot about vehicle maintenance, and you ended up in a wreck, we can get your car back to like-new condition! Bring it to the best auto body shop in Billings to have all your collision repair done.