It’s no secret that owning a car can be expensive. Between the cost of the car itself, regular maintenance, and fuel costs, it’s easy to see how expenses can add up quickly. And if you’re not careful, you may find yourself making some costly mistakes with your vehicle.
This blog post will share eight of the most common mistakes car owners make, so you can avoid them and keep your vehicle running smoothly (and affordably).
Neglecting Regular Maintenance
One of the most common mistakes car owners make is neglecting to keep up with regular maintenance. Just like any other machine, your car needs regular care and attention to function properly.
If you don’t change the oil regularly, for example, it can lead to severe engine damage. And if you skip other routine maintenance tasks, you may end up paying a lot more in repairs down the road.
Not Reading the Owner’s Manual
Owner’s manuals exist for a reason. They provide detailed instructions on how to operate and care for your vehicle. Not reading it means you could miss out on important information or perform maintenance incorrectly and damage your car.
This also goes for the warranty — make sure you’re familiar with what is and isn’t covered so you don’t accidentally void it. Also, keep in mind that many automakers require all maintenance to be performed at an authorized dealership to maintain the warranty.
Failing to Maintain Tires
Tires are one of the most important parts of your car, yet they are often overlooked when it comes to maintenance. You should check your tire pressure at least once a month and keep an eye out for any signs of wear and tear.
Tire rotation, alignment, and balancing are also important for extending the life of your tires and ensuring a smooth ride. If you neglect these tasks, you’ll likely have to replace your tires much sooner than you otherwise would.
Not Cleaning the Car Regularly
Many people only wash their car when it starts to look dirty. But if you want to keep your car in good condition, it’s important to wash it on a regular basis. You should wash it at least once a week, and more often if you live in an area with a lot of dirt and dust.
To avoid scratching the paint, use a soft cloth or sponge and avoid scrubbing too hard. And be sure to wash the underside of your car regularly to remove any build-up of salt, which can cause rust.
Ignoring Warning Lights
Your car has a variety of warning lights for a reason — they’re there to let you know when something is wrong. If you see a warning light, don’t ignore it!
Instead, take your car to a mechanic and have them diagnose the problem. It may be something small that’s easy to fix or a more serious issue requiring more extensive repairs. Either way, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Overloading the Car
Your car has a weight limit for a reason. If you exceed it, you put stress on the engine and suspension, which can lead to problems down the road. Also, be careful not to overload the trunk, as this can impact your braking and handling.
So before you load up your car for a road trip or move, check the weight limit and ensure you’re not exceeding it.
Not Using the Parking Brake
When you park on a slope, it’s essential to use the parking brake. This will help prevent your car from rolling and potentially causing an accident. Not only that, but it will also help extend the life of your brakes.
So next time you park on a hill, be sure to set the parking brake — your car (and your wallet) will thank you.
Failing to Monitor Fluid Levels
Your car has a variety of fluids that need to be kept at the proper level, including engine oil, coolant, and brake fluid. If you don’t check them regularly, they can get low and cause problems.
To avoid this, make sure you check your fluid levels regularly and top them off as needed. It’s also a good idea to keep a spare bottle of engine oil in your trunk in case you need to top off the level between oil changes.
There you have it — some of the car owners’ most common mistakes. Following these will not only help keep your car in good shape, but it could also save you money in the long run. So be sure to keep them in mind the next time you get behind the wheel!