A car is a technical, complex machine. Between the miles of wires to the thousands of parts, nearly every piece is critical to proper operation of your ride. However, in order for these parts to function as they should, there is situations that need to be avoided. Are you aware of at least 10 situations to avoid?
Oil can be used for many different things in our daily lives. Cooking, cosmetics, and more. It is also the lifeblood of your car engine. You cannot live without blood and that’s also true for your car. Driving with little to no oil in your engine will cause major engine damage. Once the friction and heat sets in, the engine will eventually seize up completely. A costly mistake for you and your wallet. Check your oil!
2. Driving with an overheated engine
On a hot summer day, we all know that we should have lots of water and do our best to stay cool. This applies to the car sitting in your driveway too. Using coolant like we do water, the engine stays comfortably cool. However, should your temperature gauge start to tell you that it is getting too hot, it’s time to pull over and shut off the engine immediately. Failing to do so will cause excess heat to build up and eventually warp critical parts of the engine. In extreme cases, the engine will ignite. Definitely not a fun situation to be in. Don’t be a hot mess by driving an overheating car!
3. Ignoring the “check engine” light
Anytime you are behind the wheel, your life is filled with lights. Whether it’s brake lights, stoplights, or police lights, all of these have meaning. Another light that may pop up is the “check engine light”. Should you come across the CEL, it is vital that you do exactly that; check the engine! While you may still be able to drive, that doesn’t mean you should. The CEL is trying to alert you to a problem. Ignoring this warning can result in a simple issue becoming a major problem that can easily lead to engine failure. Most mechanic shops have a scanner that is specifically designed to search for the reason that the CEL is on. As soon as you see the light, get it checked! It’s trying to tell you something!
4. Ignoring strange car noises
A lot of noises occur while driving your car. Most of these noises we know as wind, potholes, rough road, etc. But occasionally, we may hear a noise that we cannot identify. This mystery can be a warning from your car to you. Even though a strange noise could be something simple, it could easily be something major as well. If the cause is, in fact, a major problem, continuing to drive without investigating the noise will only lead to further damage or issues later on. Hear the noise? Drop into the mechanic shop and have them take a look.
5. Ignoring tire pressure
The tires on our vehicles do a lot of work. From tackling rough terrain to gripping the asphalt. When they work like they should, we can rely on them to help us maintain control of the car. However, the opposite is true when they do not perform correctly. The main cause for underperforming tires is failing to maintain the proper air pressure. Decreased fuel mileage and excessive tread wear are 2 symptoms of incorrect tire pressure. The main concern is safety. Under inflation or over inflation can cause a blowout and in some cases, that means a traffic crash. Don’t take the risk. Have your tire pressure checked regularly.
6. Not rotating the tires
Maintaining pressure is not the only thing you should do with tires. Rotating them is just as important. When you rotate tires, that generally means moving the rear tires to the front and vice versa. When you spend hundreds of dollars on something, you want to get the full value out of it. Your tires are no different. Failing to rotate your tires will shorten the life of the tread. Of course, with tread wear, comes the potential for blowouts and poor performance. Just like incorrect pressure, this can create a serious safety concern for you and everyone around you. Don’t hate the rotate!
7. Not replacing filters
Many things in our daily lives utilize some sort of filter. The air conditioner in your home and the water filter in your ice maker are two of them. But your car has filters too. Two examples are the air and fuel filters. These filters are designed to prevent contaminants from entering critical parts of the engine. After prolonged use or severe conditions, they get dirty and need to be changed. A dirty air or fuel filter will cause performance loss of the engine including lack of power, decreased fuel mileage and possibly prevent the engine from running at all. Make sure to maintain your filters!
8. Neglecting coolant, brake, transmission and other fluid services
It would be nice to just be able to drive your car without having to worry about maintenance. But we know this isn’t the case. But having a good maintenance schedule for your vehicle will prevent serious problems. Especially when it involves fluids. The brakes and transmission both require fluid to operate. Eventually, this fluid gets dirty after prolonged use. This is when it is time to change them. Failing to do so will prevent the parts from operating as they should. You wouldn’t want your brakes or transmission to stop working, would you? This is also true for the cooling system. Failing to maintain coolant will cause overheating. Maintain now, save later!
9. Washing your engine with water
Washing your ride is part of it’s ownership. It simply looks better when it is clean. The start to a good wash is hosing down the entire car. While that is true for the outside of your car, it is a bad idea to do it under the hood. Even though your engine may get wet when it rains, it is never a good idea to hose down your engine under the hood. Excess water can cause electrical shorts and also, water can enter the intake system that leads to the inner workings of the engine. Both of these situations can be costly. Check your local parts store for the proper engine cleaning products. Don’t get your engine water logged with a garden hose!
10. Proceeding with DIY repairs without proper knowledge
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to save money when it comes to car repair. However, it all depends on how you are saving it. There some simple tasks that can be done in the comfort of your garage or driveway but often, there are large jobs that need the expertise of a professional. Proceeding with these jobs on your own without having a complete and verified understanding of the task at hand can be not only costly but dangerous. Make sure it’s done right and take it to a trusted mechanic. Many of them warranty their work which is something you are not able to do. Don’t be shady, get an expert!
Related: 12 Tips On How To Extend The Life Of Your Car And Make It Last Forever