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Feb 26, 2015

Top 10 Maintenance Mistake Car Owners Make

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You already know to treat your vehicle right, but like many car owners, you have probably also committed a few major no-no’s. Many people are ignorant to the fact that by adhering to consistent maintenance schedule, most modern automobiles can easily last upwards of 300,000 miles without the need for major repairs.

Common Car Maintenance Mistakes

As long as you remember to follow the manufacturer’s schedule and stay true to the mileage intervals, you can expect to a healthy return on that four-wheeled investment! As far as the law of product value is concerned, cars do not typically rank high on the list.

Due to the mass number of automobiles that are produced each year, resale values drop markedly upon purchase and continue to decrease steadily over time. This is why it is imperative to maximize the lifespan of your car, and avoid the below maintenance errors!

What not to do when maintaining your vehicle

Leaving the check engine light on

The moment you see this light pop up on your dashboard, get it to a shop ASAP. You can also use an OBD II reader to inspect the code yourself, but never ignore it. There are thousands of programmed error codes in modern engine computers, and they range from the minor to the severe!

Not changing your oil regularly

The 3 month/3,000 mile interval does not hold true for every driver, as some full synthetic and high performance blends can last up to 12,000 miles. Regardless of what oil and oil filter you use, remember that none of them is meant to be permanent.

Failing to check tire pressure

This takes a couple minutes and can mean the difference between life and death on the road. Properly inflated tires are essential for safety, so inspect them at least once a week.

Not sticking to a maintenance schedule

Sure, your car may be running OK for now, but if you keep prolonging those fluid changes and belt replacements, something will definitely give. It is always more expensive to repair than it is to service.

Skipping the coolant, transmission, and brake fluids

Each of these serves a crucial purpose, but most drivers focus only on changing their engine oil. A cracked block and faulty gears could be in your future you are the same way.

Leaving the air filter alone

Your motor needs clean air for optimal combustion, so you can just imagine the effects a dirty or clogged filter will have. Even lifetime filters need to be cleaned once a year.

Driving an overheating vehicle

Never drive a car that has begun to overheat; this is the fastest way to turn that expensive piece of metal into a worthless pile of garbage. Pull over, check the coolant, and contact a towing company as soon as possible.

Buying generic parts

Do not skimp on quality parts. You should always purchase OEM replacements, or else you run the risk of installing an incompatible component. They cost more up front, but are well worth it in the long run.

Biting off more than you can chew

If you are unsure of how to maintain your vehicle, call a shop. Simple as that; swallow your pride and let the professionals handle the dirty work. That is why they are in business. Too many cars have been damaged by so-called weekend warriors.

Not hiring an ASE-certified mechanic

Quality trumps quantity, especially when it comes to your automobile. Working with a licensed and insured shop gives you peace of mind.

This list is more important than you may realize, so pay attention. Care to get another 100,000 miles out of that daily driver? Then stay away from these maintenance mistakes.


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