Below are the five most common mistakes car owners make and simple tips for avoiding them:
- Drive with your brakes metal to metal: you don’t want to do this because it will damage your rotors. If your brakes make noise, it’s time to see a mechanic.
- Not replace cracked belts: If a cracked belt breaks, you can lose power steering and your car can overheat.
- Not change your timing belt: Not changing your timing belt at the manufacturers’ recommended time will bend valves, your engine will lose timing, and you will need an engine rebuild. Make sure you change your timing belt when recommended by your cars manufacturer!
- Ignore your check engine light: It’s so easy to do! But this will certainly create more pollution, and decrease your MPG. And with rising gas prices, you definitely want to get the most out of your mileage!
- Ignore manufacturer recommended maintenance. Things like changing your fuel filter, air filter, spark plugs, oil changes, and topping off your fluids are key to increasing the life of your vehicle. Ignoring these things will cause:
- Sluggish engine
- Loss of performance
- Damage to catalytic converter
10 Things you neet to know about car Maintenance
- Brakes – Your vehicle’s brakes should feel smooth and perform quietly. If you feel shuddering or hear a grinding sound when you step on the brakes, they should be inspected as soon as possible!
- Coolant/Antifreeze – Different cars require different types of antifreeze. If you need to top off the coolant in your vehicle, check the Owner’s Manual for details on the correct type. You can harm the cooling system or engine with the wrong coolant.
- Timing belt – If your vehicle has 80,000-90,000 miles or more, it’s a good idea to check the Owner’s Manual for the recommended service interval for the engine’s timing belt. It can break without warning, leaving your car immobile until it’s change. Serious engine damage may occur as well.
- Tire vibration – A vibration felt at certain speeds or one that increases in severity with the speed of the vehicle can indicate out-of-balance tires or tires that need replacement. Either way, don’t ignore the vibration – get it checked!
- Alternator – If your vehicle’s battery or charge indicator light comes on, it may not be a battery problem, but a faulty charging system. The red light is essentially a warning that the system isn’t charging the battery and you don’t have very far to drive before the battery goes dead. Pull off the road as soon as it’s convenient to prevent stalling on the road. With luck, your cell phone will be charged, because you’ll likely need to call for assistance – and probably a tow truck if you’re far from a repair shop.
- Warning lights and indicators – No one likes to see the engine light illuminate on the dashboard, but when one of the warning lights comes on and stays on while driving, check your owner manual and follow its advice. Waiting to do repairs can be costly and even dangerous.
- Oil – Engine oil not only lubricates and cools internal engine parts, it collects and traps dirt, as well as contaminates from the combustion process. That is why you should have it changed regularly.
- Air filter – Don’t let your vehicle’s air filter get too dirty. A clogged filter restricts airflow, robbing horsepower and potentially fuel economy.
- Heater/Defroster – The heater/defroster in your vehicle draws its heat from the circulation of hot engine coolant. If you smell a sweet, syrupy odor inside the vehicle or spot a greasy mist on the inside of the window, there may be a leak in the heater core. Have it checked out.
- Tire pressure – Under-inflated tires waste gas and can prematurely wear out the tires, because they generate more friction on the road. Making sure your tires are properly inflated is one of the easiest things you can do to optimize fuel economy and tire longevity.