When you’re not a trained professional, the idea of your car breaking down can be intimidating. Your car is likely one of your most valuable possessions, and the thought of potential repairs can be overwhelming. The good news is that you don’t need to be a mechanic to handle basic car maintenance.
Neglecting your vehicle can lead to costly and time-consuming issues. Ignoring minor problems or botching repairs can result in expensive and potentially dangerous problems down the road. Here are five common car maintenance mistakes to avoid:
Neglecting Your Car Tyres
Many vehicle owners make the common mistake of not properly monitoring their car’s tyres. Simply checking for flatness is not enough; factors like tyre tread and air pressure are equally crucial for road safety. Low tyre pressure increases the risk of a blowout and reduces fuel efficiency. Regularly check tyre pressure, ideally when the tyres are cool, and monitor tyre tread using a simple 20p coin test.
Skipping Fluid Checks and Oil Changes
Routine fluid checks and oil changes are often forgotten but are essential for car ownership. Change your car’s oil every 3,000 miles to prevent the liquid from breaking down, leading to engine sludge and potential damage. Regular oil changes also allow technicians to check other vital fluids not covered in a general service, saving you from expensive repairs in the long run.
Not Knowing Your Car
Understanding the basics of car maintenance and the specifics of your vehicle is crucial for every car owner. Reading your vehicle owner’s handbook is essential to know where essential components like the bonnet release button and dipstick are located. Basic car knowledge, such as changing flat tyres and jumpstarting a car, is vital for proper vehicle maintenance.
Putting Off Easy Jobs
Simple repairs and tasks like replacing worn windscreen wipers, changing light bulbs, and keeping your car’s bodywork clean are often overlooked. These maintenance tasks are essential for safety and avoiding fines. Don’t delay in replacing wiper blades, light bulbs, or keeping your car clean, as neglecting them can lead to fines and penalty points.
Continuing to Drive with Known Problems
Ignoring niggling issues or dashboard warning lights is a common mistake. Driving with known problems can lead to more serious and costly repairs. Warning lights indicate potential maintenance issues, and driving without addressing them promptly can result in expensive and time-consuming fixes. Always pull over and seek professional help at the first sign of any maintenance issue.
By avoiding these common car maintenance mistakes, you’ll ensure a smooth and trouble-free driving experience while saving time and money in the long run.