You could unknowingly be hurting your car/truck performance and reliability. While some vehicles are simply built to be more reliable than others, many problems can be blamed on the owner. According to expert mechanics, here are some of the biggest car care mistakes blunders you can make.
Going Without an Oil Change
For good reason, automotive mechanics stress the importance tune ups. One of the most important services on the routine maintenance car/truck check list is getting an oil change. While motor oil is formulated to last for thousands of miles, stress gradually starts to deteriorate its protective additives. If you fail to get an oil change at the recommended interval, increased wear and tear can occur.
When the oil isn’t changed frequently, excess moisture and grime can collect inside the engine. This often leads to a buildup of sludge. This gel-like substance clings to metal parts, thus causing excess friction. Waiting too long to fix the issue could lead to complete engine failure.
Buying a Cheap Car Battery
A battery is one of the most critical components on a car/truck. It’s the heart of a car’s electrical system. When buying a replacement battery, avoid grabbing the cheapest one on the shelf. Although you may be saving some money, cheap car batteries often start to weaken after only a year or two. Meanwhile, a high-quality battery can easily last for five years.
Cheap batteries can’t endure the harsh weather conditions. On an extremely cold day, the battery may not be able to provide enough juice to start your car/truck. However, the summer heat can be just as damaging.
Using the Wrong Gasoline
Always fill your tank with the recommended octane level of fuel. Typically, sports cars and premium luxury vehicles are engineered to use high octane. Upon opening the car/truck gas flap, you may see the phrase “premium fuel only”. The use of regular unleaded gas will result in a noticeable decline in performance. Even worse, a lower octane could cause denotation. This is a problem that can seriously damage the engine.
If your vehicle is designed to use regular gas, you won’t benefit from using a higher octane. It’s simply a big waste of money. Fuel economy could actually be worse.
It’s true that not everyone cares about driving a clean car/truck. However, washing your car does more than just boost its curb appeal. Cleaning grime off the exterior helps protect the paint from the damage. Pollen, tree sap, and bugs can all ruin the finish on a car/truck. A blemish-free paint job will ultimately enhance your car/truck resale value.
Cleaning the undercarriage or your car/truck is even more important. When wintry weather is in the forecast, Raleigh’s work crews will be covering the roads with salt. This salt can stick to your car’s undercarriage, thus making rust more likely to occur. At least every three months, be sure to get an undercarriage wash.
Failing to Check Tire Pressure
Far too many North Carolina drivers fail to regularly check their car/truck tire pressure. Underinflation is especially bad. When driving on hot pavement, low pressure increases the likelihood of a dangerous tire blowout. Low pressure can also lead to reduced fuel economy and accelerated tread wear.
Every car owner should keep a digital tire pressure gauge on hand. Develop a habit of checking your tire pressure once a month. It’s an easy way to save money and improve vehicle safety.
Upon hearing a strange noise or catching a whiff of an unfamiliar smell, some car owners simply just keep driving. However, the best approach is to always get the car/truck checked out. You could be dealing with an issue that will ultimately leave you stranded on the side of the highway.
It’s also important to address an illuminated check engine light. You never know what the problem could be. With the use of specialized diagnostic equipment, a mechanic can quickly find out what caused the check engine light to turn on.