Some people are conscientious car owners. Some people are not. Do you know which kind of car owner you are? Many people don’t realize just how bad they are at taking care of their cars because today’s cars are built do well and contain so many safeguards to protect themselves against negligent owners. For example, there are now cars that will shut down the engine if the oil level gets too low in order to protect the engine from damage. But even the most advanced cars will suffer if their owners aren’t taking good enough care of them.
To find out which kind of owner you are look at this list of the 6 worst car maintenance crimes and see how many you are guilty of committing.
1. DIY-ing Inappropriately
While there are still some things you can do on your own to keep up with the recommended maintenance schedule for your car, there are some things that need to be done by a tech. Owners who try to do things that are better left to technicians risk doing damage to the car they are trying to maintain.
2. Failing to Change the Oil on Time
Changing the engine according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule is one of the most important things you can do to take care of your car. If you are constantly putting off getting the oil changed or pushing the 3,000 miles between oil changes to 4,000, 6,000, or more you are decreasing the longevity of your vehicle and risking damage.
3. Not Taking Care of Tires
The tires are literally where the rubber meets the road and if you aren’t taking care of your tires and replacing them as needed you are compromising your ability to safely operate your car. Improperly inflated tires or tires that are bald affect everything from how the car steers to how the car stops.
4. Ignoring the Check Engine Light
Perhaps car manufacturers have done us all a disservice by using a single indicator light to alert us to a range of problems as this makes it easier to ignore it. Unfortunately, some of those problems can be very serious and ignoring the light can result in serious damage to your car.
5. Failing to Change the Filters
There are several filters used to keep impurities that are outside your car from making their way inside the engine and other components. There is the oil filter that cleans impurities out of the oil, the air filter that cleans the air, and the fuel filter that takes care of the fuel. All of these filters need to be changed on a regular basis in order to perform their intended function. When they aren’t changed, they can become clogged which affects how your car operates.
6. Not Following the Manufacturers Maintenance Schedule
All car manufacturers provide a recommended schedule of regular service and maintenance tasks that should be completed to keep the car in good shape. This schedule is generally provided in the owner’s manual. Failing to follow this recommended schedule can decrease the life of your car and result in significant and/or costly repairs that could have been avoided.