We all know how expensive it is to own a car, and in harsh economic times when money is tight for many people, often car maintenance tasks and servicing are put off or delayed in an effort to save some hard-earned cash.
Yet not following a regular car maintenance plan, or ignoring signs that something might not be right with your vehicle, can cause costs to escalate further down the line. And in the worst-case scenario, it could prove to be highly dangerous. Here are some top car maintenance mistakes that should be avoided at all costs.
Delaying maintenance checks
According to Post Office Car Insurance, almost a third of car owners delay having their car serviced, in order to save money. But having your car serviced is an essential part of maintaining an efficient and safe vehicle. So, avoiding, or putting off, getting these checks done might jeopardize your safety but may cause faults to get worse over time. Unchecked faults left to fester, could cause further damage resulting, with you having to pay extra to fix the problems further down the line. In some cases, it may even make your vehicle unroadworthy.
Not changing the oil
Changing a car’s oil wouldn’t rank high on most people’s agendas, so it’s easy to see how this important task could easily be forgotten. Yet not changing your oil can be damaging to your vehicle, and can ruin the engine. Dirty oil can also cause restriction to camshaft actuators, which can make them freeze, causing the engine to fail if left for too long. In some new models of cars, you only have to change the oil as little as once every 12 months, so it’s not something that should take up too much of your life, yet is a vital procedure to keep your car in tip-top condition.
Ignoring the ‘check engine’ light
If your ‘check engine’ light starts to illuminate, then it’s telling you that something is wrong and needs fixing. It can be a real pain to see this light appear, but you should never ignore it. Get on top of minor problems before they turn into big, costly issues.
The most common reason for this light to appear is a faulty oxygen sensor, which can be caused by a dirty air filter. If not fixed over time, the resulting damage to your car will mean you’ll need a new catalytic converter, which is very expensive.
Not checking tire pressure
Don’t take your tires for granted; your car won’t function properly without the correct pressure in your tires. Having uneven, low or very high tire pressure can cause problems for your car. Incorrect pressure can reduce the lifespan of your tires requiring more frequent tire changes, but could also be the cause of potential accidents.
DIY car repairs
With car repairs being costly, it might seem like a good idea to try and fix problems yourself. But unless you’re a trained car mechanic, this could prove costly and dangerous. In fact, according to Post Office Car Insurance, over one in ten car owners try and fix repairs themselves, or ask friends and family to have a go.
But if you don’t know what you’re properly doing, you could cause further damage down the line to your vehicle, resulting in extra expense incurred in order to rectify the problem.