Owning a vehicle is a major responsibility and in order to work well and ensure your safety, cars require regular maintenance measures to be carried out. Maintaining your vehicle will also ensure that it has a long life.
Despite the importance of maintaining your car well, life can get in the way sometimes and costs can get in the way, meaning that you may disregard some of your car maintenance obligations from time to time.
To help you to prioritise what you need to do and plan your maintenance time effectively, we have put together a list of the most common car maintenance mistakes people make and how to avoid them. Read on to find out how you can maintain your car for safer driving.
Not checking tyre pressure
Many people take a quick glance at their tyres and simply assume that they are absolutely fine before driving off. However, on closer inspection, your tyres could actually be low on inflation. They can lose inflation fairly easily just by driving over potholes, and from changes in temperature. If this is the case, you could have poor fuel economy, which will cause you to be spending much more money than you need to. The last thing you want is a flat tyre, so it important to check your tyre pressure regularly. To do this, you will need to check the pressure which is needed via the vehicle handbook or the inside of the door jamb, and head to the nearest petrol station to use the air pump.
Ignoring the engine light
When the check engine light comes on the dashboard, it can be easy to simply ignore it and just speed off without thinking twice. However, the longer you ignore it, the more likely it is that your car will break down without further notice. What’s more, the longer you leave it, the worse the problem is likely to get; it may become dangerous to drive and the problem will get more and more expensive to fix. The engine light is a sign that your car needs some proper attention from a trained mechanic. Ideally, as soon as you see this light, take it to the local garage and get the problem fixed by the professionals.
Not changing the oil
Due to the development in mechanics and motor industry technology, there is no need to change your oil as regularly as you once had to. It is no longer necessary to change the oil every 3,000 miles; in fact, you the average car will only require an oil change every 7,800 miles. This is a relief for most car owners, who have to spend less time and money on their vehicle maintenance. However, it can be more difficult to remember when the oil needs changing and the old changes cannot simply be skipped. Without old changes, your vehicle’s engine will seize up and it will break down. Plus, if the oil in there is old, it can start to break down, causing sludge in the engine and damaging the parts.
Not checking fluid
Many vehicle owners wrongly believe that the oil is the only fluid in the car which needs checking; however, there are actually many other fluid levels which need checking, changing and topping up regularly. These checks help your vehicle to stay in good condition and avoids leaks. For full information on your particular vehicle, check the manufacturers’ guidelines. The brake fluid, transmission fluid, engine coolant, and power steering fluid all need checking on a regular basis.
Ignoring an overheating engine
Due to the entire mechanical process of driving, a car’s engine gets incredibly hot when it is running; it requires a cooling down system to avoid it overheating. However, on occasion, these systems do fail, meaning that the car is no longer safe to drive. Many drivers admit to continuing to drive even when their engine is overheating, however, this is not a wise decision at all. If your engine does start to overheat, it is important to turn it off immediately and call for someone to tow the vehicle.
Failing to inspect the brakes
When your brakes start to get worn, it can be easy to ignore the squealing noise they make, sometimes allocating it to another car or part of your car. However, your brakes are one of the most important components of your car to ensure your safety and the safety of other road users when driving. If you do start to hear a squealing or grinding noise and suspect that it may be the brakes, get an inspection as soon as possible from a professional.
Not changing windscreen wipers
Windscreen wipers weaken over time as they are used against harsh weather conditions. It can be easy to ignore the problems experienced by poor wiper blades, but chatters, tears and general wear can mean that the wipers leave streaks on the windscreen. You need to ensure that as soon as your visibility is compromised due to worn windscreen wipers, it is time to change them. If you are unsure as to whether or not your wiper blades need changing, check for imperfections in the wipe pattern, a change in effectiveness, marks or splodges on your windscreen, noisy sounds whilst operating, and waring to the rubber.
Not using filters as recommended
Filters stop dirt particles from entering the engine, air conditioning or fuel of your vehicle to prevent problems from occurring. In order to work well, your filters need to be clean. If they are dirty, they can lead to a multitude of problems, for example, poor fuel efficiency, and the system wearing. Have your vehicle filters changed as regularly as necessary and it will prolong the life of your vehicle.
For more information on maintaining your vehicle or if you need professional help to maintain your car, contact us at In Town Automotive. Our professionals will be able to advise you on all your car maintenance questions.