Hundreds of millions of cars are owned and operated in the United States. While car sales have been slow this year, thousands are still being purchased which means that first-time car owners are making their maiden road voyages daily.
Purchasing and driving your first car is a special experience. It signifies independence and freedom. What a lot of people don’t know though is that owning a car also signifies an increase in responsibility.
As a car owner, you’ll need to know which maintenance mistakes to avoid so you can keep your vehicle functioning for years to come. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to maintenance mistakes, keep reading.
Our team will walk you through common gaffes to watch out for.
1. Forgetting About Your Oil
In many ways, oil is the lifeblood of non-electric vehicles. It keeps all the parts of your engine moving smoothly and prevents friction from occurring which will reduce your engine’s temperature.
Oil, unfortunately, doesn’t last forever and after it has passed through your car too many times, it’ll need to be drained and replaced. Several car owners forget to drain and replace their oil and consequently, put their vehicles at serious risk of irreparable damage, overheating, and engine fires.
Oil is something that anyone can learn how to change so hop on YouTube or hire a pro to figure out which means of completion best suits you.
2. Not Examining Your Tire Pressure
Having healthy tires is integral to you arriving at your destination safely. An important part of the healthy tire equation is having the correct “PSI”.
How many pounds of pressure per squire inch of air your tires should be filled with will vary depending on the make and model of your car. Consult your owner’s manual to see what’s suggested.
With a figure in mind, on at least a monthly basis, use a handheld tire pressure checking tool to ensure your tires are what they should be. Weather can affect PSI so account for that when filling your tires based on your local climate.
3. Keeping Your Old Wipers on for Too Long
If you live in a rainy area, you probably get a lot of use out of your windshield wipers. A good set of wipers will push water away from the center of your vision and towards the edges of your windshield. Bad wipers will smear and in some cases hamper your vision during bad weather.
Drivers that are noticing more smearing of water than pushing need to prioritize getting their wipers switched out as part of their regular maintenance tasks. New wipers can cost less than $20 and could prevent an accident.
4. Neglecting to Swap Out Your Air Filters
When your car pulls air from the outside and pushes it into your car, that air passes through filters.
The beauty of filters is that they catch a lot of the gunk that’s floating around outside and throughout your engine so you get to enjoy clean air in your car’s cabin. The bad thing about filters is that when they become too impacted with gunk, your car’s airflow will reduce and may start to fill your cabin with debris.
It’s recommended to swap air filters every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. Replacement costs will vary based on the make/model of your car but aftermarket filters are generally cheap.
5. Assuming Your Brake Pads are Invincible
Every time you engage your car’s brakes, the pads that stop your tires from moving wear away. After months of regular breaking, your pads may become so worn that they fail when you need to use them to avoid an accident.
Given how catastrophic brake failure could turn out to be, always “ignoring your breaks” on your maintenance mistakes to avoid list!
Break pad wear and tear varies based on how you drive. For that reason, you may want to hire a professional to inspect your pads before taking the initiative to swap them out.
6. Not Defogging Glass Enclosures and Checking Bulbs
Headlights and blinkers sit in glass enclosures that, over time, will fog up. The more fogged those enclosures are, the harder it will be for your lights to shine through which can substantially increase the possibility of an accident occurring.
Fortunately, managing your light enclosures and lights themselves is easy.
For enclosures, you can pick up one of several salves that can be rubbed over the outside of your light enclosures. For bulb maintenance, just make it a point every month to ensure that all of your bulbs are functioning. If they aren’t, swap them out.
7. Forgoing Tire Rotations/Swaps
Our final tip is to keep tire rotations and the occasional swap in your car maintenance budget. Too many car owners are out there reading this post on Greddy Exhaust systems so they can make fun modifications to their vehicles and forget about the basic modifications they should be making to their tires!
Rotating your tires will spread out the level of wear they experience which can increase their lifespan. Once your tire’s treads run thin, swapping them out will ensure that your vehicle’s handling remains intact.
Keep Our Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid in Mind When You Hit the Road
By keeping our maintenance mistakes to avoid in mind every time you hit the road, you protect yourself and your vehicle from adversity. Seeing as how thousands of people die in car accidents every year, doing everything in your power to stay safe when driving is worth your time.
If you’d like more insight on all things vehicles, we welcome you to explore more of the car-related content we have featured in our blog.