7 Car Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid

You depend on your vehicle every day to get you to school, work, social events, and vacations. A problem with your car can really throw a wrench into your day to day.

It is so easy to take your vehicle for granted, but a little regular maintenance goes a long way to ensure you don’t run into expensive issues later.

Here are some common car maintenance mistakes to avoid:

Ignoring the Check Engine Light

It is far too easy to blow off a check engine light as “no big deal” when you can’t hear or see any obvious issues. You figure you will get it checked out later but, life happens, and one day you could end up broken down on the side of the road.

It is important to get that light checked out as soon as it comes on. Many auto parts stores have a computer that can be hooked up to your car to give you a diagnosis in minutes so you can decide if you need to make an emergency visit to a shop, or make an appointment for the near future. 

Neglecting Fluid Checks

Your car runs on all sorts of fluids that are crucial for smooth operation. 

It is a common misconception that motor oil is the only fluid that needs regular checking, changing, or topping off. If you look in your owner’s manual, however, you will notice that transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and coolant should all be checked and serviced according to manufacturer recommendations. 

Keeping these checks up-to-date will prevent leaking and keep your car running efficiently.

Skipping Oil Changes

Advances in vehicles and motor oil have come a long way. 

Today’s cars rarely need oil changes every 3,000 miles, with 7,000 being the new normal. This does not mean that oil changes can be skipped. If your motor oil is too old, it can create a sludge causing your engine to seize and die. 

The repairs will be costly, and you will have no way to get around in the meantime.

Failure to Have Tires Rotated/ Aligned

This one is especially difficult to remember, because you can go quite a while without having your tires rotated or aligned. However, misaligned tires can result in serious issues later. 

Check your owner’s manual to find the recommended range to have your tires checked.

Not Checking Tire Pressure Regularly

Thankfully, many newer vehicles come with a tire pressure monitoring system that will alert you if your tire pressure dips below manufacturer recommendations.

Even if your tires appear to be inflated fully, they could be low on air. Even if the tire isn’t bad enough to blow out, low pressure could affect your fuel efficiency, costing you more at the pump.

Check your tire pressure regularly, especially in the cold weather. Every 10 degree drop in temperature can result in 1-2lbs of tire pressure lost.

Servicing Your Own Vehicle Without Proper Knowledge

In the era of YouTube teaching us everything, it is easy to fool yourself into thinking that watching a how-to video will equip you properly to handle a complicated job. Resist that urge! 

While you may be attempting to save yourself some money, it could end up costing you much more should something go wrong. Leave the big jobs to the trained professionals; your wallet will thank you.

Ignoring Brake Problems

If you hear a squealing or grinding noise when you hit your brakes, have them checked quickly! 

Noises are usually a symptom of worn brakes, which make your car unsafe to drive. Even if your brakes appear to be working fine otherwise, it is very important that you do not ignore the sounds, or assume you have time to get it repaired.

Roadside Assistance & Towing in Maryland

A breakdown can be a huge inconvenience so, when one happens, you want it dealt with quickly so you can be on your merry way. The friendly technicians at Morton’s Towing have the tools and the know-how to get you back on the road as quickly as possible. Whether you need a new battery or to be towed to your local shop for repairs, we are ready to come to your rescue! Contact us today!

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