No matter how expensive your vehicle is, it will easily malfunction and break down if poorly maintained. This is why car owners are encouraged to perform regular preventive maintenance to make their vehicles work optimally. It includes changing the oil, checking the fluids, testing the lights and washing the car, among other things.
However, during maintenance work, mistakes may set in. It’s hard to keep track of all the things that you need to do, especially when you have little knowledge of car maintenance. This can harm your vehicle in many ways, putting your life at risk when you’re behind the wheel.
To prolong the lifespan of your car, here are the common car maintenance mistakes you should avoid:
Not paying attention to strange noises
It might feel tempting to ignore the strange noises that your car makes, but this is the first mistake that will cost you your vehicle. Unless you pay attention to it and solve the problem at hand, these noises won’t go away on their own.
Remember that you’re controlling a piece of heavy machinery, and one error can put you in harm’s way. For example, if the car engine is squealing or screeching, it’s a sign that the drive belt is loose or worn out. And once you hear grinding noises when changing gears, you may have a transmission issue.
Ignoring dashboard warning lights
Aside from strange noises, you need to pay extra attention to dashboard warning lights. You should learn what each warning means since some of them are more serious than others. Moreover, these lights are triggered by the car’s system to tell you that something needs immediate attention. No matter what, you should never ignore them.
Below are some of the common warning lights you need to know. If you ever get stuck in the middle of nowhere and your dashboard lights up, you’ll know what to do.
- Engine temperature warning light
Once this warning pops up, your car’s coolant is overheating. Immediately pull over to the side of the road and let your vehicle cool down. If you don’t, the heat will destroy the engine.
- Traction control light
This indicates that your vehicle may be losing its grip. Let your car regain traction by slowing down. However, if the light stays on despite following this tip, there might be a bigger issue with the traction control system. Bring your car to a mechanic as soon as you can.
Not checking the tire pressure
Most car owners often neglect to check the tire pressure because they think the tires are already well-inflated. However, even if they look properly inflated on the surface, they might be low on air. This can affect the fuel economy, handling and braking distance if the tires are poorly cared for.
As a rule of thumb, always check the tire pressure every time you fill up with gas. Make sure to pay attention to your spare tire as well!