You depend on your car every day to get you to and from work, the grocery store and just about anywhere else you need to be. With this in mind, it’s important to protect your vehicle by investing in the routine maintenance it needs to stay safe and reliable. You can start by avoiding a few common mistakes that cost car owners time and money, and keep their vehicles off the road.
Riding on Underinflated Tires
If one of your tires looks a little low, it probably is. Riding on underinflated tires can not only cause their treads to wear unevenly, but also have a negative impact on your gas mileage and increase the likelihood of getting a flat. It’s much cheaper to put a few quarters in an air pump than it is to buy a replacement for a shredded tire.
Neglecting Routine Service Intervals
Keeping up with routine maintenance tasks like oil changes, tire rotations and filter replacements can help prevent more serious (and costly) issues from bringing your car to a halt in the future. Check your owner’s manual to find the recommended service intervals for your vehicle, and set reminders for yourself so you don’t forget to keep up with these essential maintenance items.
Driving With Burned-Out Lights
Failing to replace an inoperative headlight can make driving at night difficult and dangerous. It can also earn you an expensive traffic ticket in some areas. Get those lights replaced quickly, especially if you do a lot of driving after dark.
Ignoring Brake Wear
Despite their importance, many people neglect to inspect their brake pads for excessive wear, keeping them out of sight and out of mind. Brake pad replacement intervals can vary significantly depending on driving conditions, but you should have them checked out any time you notice a change in braking performance. New brake pads are relatively inexpensive and essential components of your vehicle’s braking system.
Neglecting Warning Lights
You might be tempted to ignore a check engine light until you notice a change in performance, but failing to get to the bottom of the issue could put the health of your vehicle at risk. A check engine light might be caused by something as minor as a loose gas cap, but it could also be a more serious issue like low oil pressure. The good news is, a quick diagnostic test at your local mechanic can tell you exactly what’s causing the light to turn on.