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8 Car Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid

8 Car Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid

Owning a vehicle

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.

Getting regular MOTs and services are always a top priority, but there are other ways you can maintain your vehicle too.

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

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

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.

Why Preventative Maintenance is Important

Why Preventative Maintenance is Important

A vehicle is one of the most consistent and expensive outlays in your life. To make the most of your investment, it is crucial that you maintain your vehicle inside out to extend its lifespan.

The car manufacturers know that customers value a dependable car and when such a car is maintained properly it becomes safer to be driven around thus adding to its dependability too. This is one of the reasons why car manufacturers specifically indicate certain services ‘that must be done’ in order to maintain the factory warranty and extended warranty.

Preventative Maintenance for Your Car

Preventative Maintenance for Your Car

Preventative maintenance is what will keep your vehicle running better and safer on an everyday basis while also prolonging its lifespan. Pay special attention to the preventative maintenance category and here a few items to give you a head-start to care for your auto:

  • Tyre rotation
  • Regular brake checks
  • Tyre pressure
  • Regular oil changes

Car manufacturers also create highly detailed maintenance schedules highlighting specific functions that are to be performed without fail on various systems and components. These services are carried out at different mileage intervals to make sure that proper operation is undertaken, preventing premature wear and tear.

At In Town Automotive we urge our customers to follow the maintenance guidelines compiled for your vehicle. Routine maintenance will ensure that the engine of your car runs well while also eliminating potential problems that might leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Since the inception of cars, manufacturers have always reminded their customers to have their units put through regular check-ups for a hassle-free driving experience.

Modern engineering has given a boost to the car manufacturers as they can now determine the life expectancy of certain parts of the car which enables them to come up with a systematic schedule for the car.

This involves lubrication of the car components, refilling of fluids of the car or replacement of certain parts as per the requirements.

Maintenance of your car involves basic car maintenance or a total overhaul car check-up.

Significance of Basic Car Maintenance

There are several maintenance measures that you can employ to keep your car in the best possible condition. This will require you to bring your car to us and get it thoroughly checked at regular intervals.

Having your engine checked first and foremost is really important. This is because the engine is the heart of any vehicle and with a sub-par engine your vehicle is as good as a metallic bin, a fancy one, but still a bin.

Getting your engine checked will ensure that it is in top working form and up to its speed. It is also important to have a good look at your car transmission.

Checking the Brakes is an elemental part of your basic car maintenance. Seek the assistance of expert mechanics from In Town Automotive to have your brakes checked regularly. Keep in mind that the brakes of your vehicle will keep you and your loved ones safe. Routine brake checks will ensure that you do not inflict any damage to the rotors of your vehicle, ultimately saving you money in the long run.

Routine brake checks

Low brake fluid levels can result in soft brake pedals. At the same time, dirty brake pads are known to cause squeaking of the brakes. Getting regular brake checks can assist in getting rid of this problem and will also considerably reduce the risk of accidents.

A functioning AC offers comfort from the heat outside. If your auto AC emits disagreeable cooling then it is time to schedule an appointment for servicing. AC repair can involve a simple procedure of cleaning out a dirty condenser or a heavy duty mechanical procedure. It is essential that you attend to minor issues as soon as you recognise them so that you can avoid serious problems and a costly car repair in the future.

Significance of Regular Mechanical Inspection

Have your car inspected regularly for safety purposes and also to reduce the cost of car repair. Regular mechanical inspection has to be carried out and this does not mean a general visual inspection of your vehicle. Many aspects and components of your vehicle cannot be checked just by a mere glance which is why it is important that a detailed check is carried out.

Seek assistance from expert mechanics like us and subject your vehicle to a diagnostic check to ensure that all components of your car are in suitable working order. A car diagnostic tool will helps us pin down the problematic areas in your vehicle without having to gut out your car in entirety.

Significance of Immediate Car Repair

Upon experiencing any kind of car trouble, get your car checked without delay. When you address the car issues immediately, you are fending off any recurring damage. The safety system in your car is installed with the sole intention of alerting you of any problems or mechanical failures that your car is likely to have or is already having.

Additional Preventative Checks That You Must Heed

We carry out these checks to ensure that your vehicle is running smoothly:
Check the Filters

Check the Filters

Make sure that the oil filter is replaced along with the oil. Usually people who have budget constraints skimp away from replacing the filter or instead buy one which is mediocre. Keep in mind that metallic parts or any other foreign debris which are not filtered can end up severely damaging the engine of your vehicle.

Check the Belts

Check the Belts

A typical car engine consists of several belts that make a car function smoothly. These include the fan belt, drive belt, timing belt and power steering belt. As belts are generally made out of rubber, they eventually degrade over time.

Make sure that you replace these belts as often as the car manufacturer suggests as this will help in fending off problems like mechanical breakdown, loss of electrical power, overheating and heavy steering. If you do not get a belt replacement on time, it has the potential to cause severe engine damage which is surely going to burn a hole in your pocket when it comes to repairs.

Check the batteries

Check the batteries

Apart from vehicle power rating, car batteries now come with an expiry date. Batteries that come along with the purchase of a brand new car generally last between two to three years. The price of the car batteries may vary depending upon its guaranteed lifespan. To avoid a dead car battery, ensure that you replace the battery as soon as its warranty expires.

Check the Transmission

An integral aspect of any vehicle is it transmission. Routine checkups and oil flushes will make sure that the vehicle’s transmissions are in good shape.

Check the Tyres

Tyres are made from rubber and they begin to wear out after several thousand miles. So, to prolong the life of the tyres that is including the spare ones, they should be rotated every 5000 miles or so to make sure that this wears off evenly.

You need to pay special attention to the air pressure in the tyres to extend its life and usage. Check with the car manufacturer how frequently the tyres require to be replaced and do so accordingly.

Benefits of Preventative Maintenance for Your Car

Benefits of Preventative Maintenance for Your Car

  • Preventative maintenance saves considerable amount of money as you can avoid expensive car repairs occurring from mere neglect.
  • Taking good care of your vehicle gives you peace of mind as you know you and your family are safe while travelling.
  • Proper care increases the dependability of the vehicle.
  • Healthy emission system makes you contribute towards a cleaner environment.
  • A well maintained vehicle is of more value when you plan to sell it off.

Car repair and maintenance

Car repair and maintenance are very essential and must not be taken for granted. By adhering to preventative measures you are able to conserve a lot of time, effort and money and get the most out of driving.

Northampton Car Owners De-Icing Guide

Northampton Car Owners: De-icing Guide

Many of you may be waking up this morning to find a fine membrane of ice blanketing your car.

This is a minor grievance for many Northampton car owners, and causes thousands of people to be late for work, trying a variety of methods to clear their windows and mirrors.

As you stand there in the cold street, watching your breath dissipate in the morning air, you should know the correct way to de-ice your car to avoid causing damage. Remember to fully de-ice the windows, because nobody like a ‘tank commander’!warning northampton car owners tank commanders

Seven De-Icing Rules For Northampton Car Owners

Rule number one: Do not pour hot water on your windscreen; this can crack it or make existing chips worse. Use lukewarm water gradually to melt the ice.

Rule number two: Get the engine running to warm up the inner mechanics of the car, which will in turn heat up the vents and de-ice the windows from the inside.

Rule number three: De-icer spray can really help in these situations, so it’s a good idea to keep a bottle in your vehicle. Don’t forget to use this on your mirrors too.

Rule number four: The classic ‘credit card’ scraper trick is an ancient mistake when trying to de-ice your car. Two reasons it is a bad idea is that it can scratch your windscreen and also the ice can lower the temperature of the plastic, making it more likely to snap. Use a proper scraper.

Rule number five: Keep your windscreen wiper off until all the ice has been removed, then use the wipers to push all the loose ice off the glass. New wiper blades will make this easier.

northampton car owners

Rule number six: Don’t drive off until all the windows and mirrors are clear. Just scraping the middle of the windscreen is dangerous and inadvisable. We want safer roads for all Northampton car owners, and nobody likes what is known as a ‘tank commander’, someone who drives with just a tiny hole cleared in the windscreen. If you are brave enough to do this, don’t be surprised when the police pull you over! #NoTankCommanders!

Rule number seven: This preventative method is rather obscure, but some people swear by it. The night before an expected frost, cut an onion in half and rub it over the outside windows (click here to see one of our team attempt this!). It may make your car smell slightly, but it should stop ice from forming. Additionally, you can tie plastic bags over the wing mirrors to stop ice forming on them; just remember to take them off before you drive away!

Northampton car owners, have these tips helped you? Tweet us @InTownAuto