Some people buy cars to impress others. While some buy cars because it’s a necessity. Whichever reason you bought your car for, it’s considered a valuable investment. And anything valuable should be properly taken care of.
Taking care of your car can be a bit tricky. If you aren’t keen on the right way to maintain your car, there are serious consequences. For instance, your car may fail to start, or break down in the middle of the road. Or worse, you may encounter an accident. Did you know that 13% of car-related accidents are due to mechanical failure?
To avoid these, you should have your car checked regularly. In addition, there’s nothing wrong with doing some of the maintenance yourself. Just make sure that you avoid making these mistakes while taking care of your car.
1. Ignoring Engine Overheat When Driving
There are plenty of reasons why your car overheats while driving. It can be due to a restricted radiator, or there’s something wrong with the cooling fan. Regardless, when you see smoke coming out of your car, you stop immediately. If you don’t, you’ll be caught up in flames.
To prevent engine overheat, you should check your car for any problems. And once you detected the problem, you should have them fixed right away. But if you don’t have time for repairs, say you’re moving out, you should hire a shipping car company. Some offer door-to-door delivery, so you don’t have to worry about still driving your car.
These car transportation services are helpful, especially when you’re traveling to a faraway location. Not only will they save your car from overheating, but they also prevent wear and tear.
Speaking of car shipment...
2. Forgetting the Do’s and Don’ts in Car Shipment
Shipping a car is good if you want to maintain that brand new feel of your car. But sometimes, we forget that we still have a role to play when we ship our cars. Before shipping, you should first assess your car. Make sure there aren’t any loose parts in it before the car transporters take it away.
Car transportation service assures all their customers of secure transport of a car. But no one can prevent the car from moving while in transit. When this happens, loose parts will fall and possibly damage your car.
On another note, you might think it’s best to load your car with household items during the car transportation. It’s actually the opposite. If you do this, you’re only risking your car for any damages such as broken windows.
3. Letting Your Car Parked For Too Long
Many people believe that you’re speeding up the wear and tear process if you drive your car constantly. Not only that, but it’s also a popular belief that you can avoid car repairs if you don’t use your car frequently. We can’t deny the logic in these beliefs.
But, as they say, if you don’t use an object for its purpose, you’re actually damaging it more. Cars are not an exception. Purposely leaving your car in your driveway for too long can cause serious damage.
Some of the damages include:
- Rotting tires
- Draining battery
- Rusting of motor and brakes
Your car is meant to be used. If you don’t want any of these damages to occur, consider driving your car regularly. Or, if you really don’t have anywhere to go to, you can always just take it out for a spin.
4. Not Having Routinely Check-Ups
To make sure we’re living healthy, we go to specialized doctors for regular check-ups. The same should also be done to cars. You should not wait for unusual noises or smoke coming from your car to appear. Having scheduled check-ups is the best way of ensuring that your car is still safe to drive.
Cars today have indicators that something is wrong with your car. For example, if the engine management system detected a fault with your engine, the Check Engine warning would light up on your dashboard.
But these indicators occur when something has already gone wrong with your car. If you only rely on these warning lights, you’ll be spending more than you should be. Having a repairman to check up on your car regularly can help you avoid situations such as this.
5. Not Following the Recommended Oil Change Intervals
The motor oil in your car is responsible for lubricating the engine. But, after some time, it can get thick and filthy. This can cause the engine to overheat. Aside from that, parts of your car’s engine can experience premature wear and tear.
How often should you change your car’s oil? Well, it depends on what oil you use. For regular motor oil, it is recommended to change every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. And for synthetic oil, it is recommended to change every 15,000 miles.
These are the average intervals for changing the motor oil. However, it’s still best to check the specific interval for your car in the manual. If you lose this manual, don’t worry! Your car most likely has a reminder system that gives you alerts on when you can change the oil.
6. Ignoring Unusual Noises Your Car Makes
If you hear strange noises, that always means trouble. And we mean strange noises that your car makes whenever you drive it.
A car normally makes a low humming noise because of its engine. But some noises indicate your car is experiencing some trouble. You, as the owner, should know what your car sounds like when it’s healthy and when it’s not.
But, if you’re a new car owner, here are some that you need to watch out for:
- Tapping sounds in your engine can mean that the oil needs to be changed or that you need to replace the oil pump.
- Clicking noises is related to the valve train of your car. If you hear this, you need to adjust the lifters of the valve.
- If you hear a high-pitch noise when you step on the brakes, then there is something wrong with your brakes. You might as well check them before driving your car.
When you experience these noises, it’s best to have a car repair expert inspect them. You can perform your own inspection. However, it’s not recommended, especially if you have little knowledge about car maintenance.
7. Insisting On DIY With Not Enough Knowledge
To reduce maintenance costs, some car owners check their own car and make the repair themselves. It’s not wrong to do so. But if you’re doing this with little to no knowledge, then it’s a big no-no.
If you’re not sure about what you should do to fix a car problem, then it’s best that you leave the repair to the experts. In the meantime, you can teach yourself the basics of car repair with different resources online. You can read about car repair tips online or watch video tutorials. Studying workshop manuals does the job, too.
8. Choosing the Wrong Products When Washing Your Car
The dishwashing detergents you use for washing the dishes may not work well on your car. These detergents have ingredients that can further harm your car. They can remove the wax that serves as protection for your car’s paint. This can also happen when you use any soap that is not intended for car washing.
In addition to this, some people also use household glass cleaner when cleaning their car’s windows. And it’s also a bad idea to do so. These cleaners have ammonia that can strip your car of heating elements designed to help with defrosting.
What you can do is to choose cleaning products that are specifically made for cars. These products are milder in comparison, as well as have ingredients that are car-friendly.
It’s understandable that you want to lessen the expenses. But by doing so, you’ll find yourself spending more than when you bought the right cleaning products for your car.
9. Leaving Out the Interior While Cleaning
Your car’s interior is just as important as the exterior. Both of them should be kept clean. Leaving the interior of your car dirty is not healthy for both you and your car.
For example, sand and dirt can cause serious damage to your car’s seats and flooring. In addition to this, leaving food crumbs in your car can attract insects and rodents. They can also harm the interior of your car.
That’s why when you wash your car, don’t forget about your car’s interior. Learning how to clean your car’s interior can save you a lot from damages and repairs. Plus, you’ll be avoiding a smelly car ride.
10. Overlooking the Warning Lights on Your Dashboard
Looking at your dashboard, you’ll see all these symbols that either flash orange or red. When it lights up red, this means that your car has a serious issue. And when it flashes orange, this means that there is a fault in your engine.
When these warning lights flash on your dashboard, you should not ignore them. Bring your car to the nearest auto repair shop and have them fix it immediately. If you ignore these lights, you’ll be faced with even more trouble than, for example, a low engine oil pressure.
Cars are not only meant to be driven but also taken care of. If you buy a car, then you’re responsible for its maintenance. When you insist on loading your car with loose items, you can’t blame car transporters for damages during transit.
Sometimes, we’re not aware of how we should take care of our cars. And most of the time, we just completely ignore the basics of maintaining our cars.
Knowing how to properly take care of your car is important if you want your car to last longer. You can start by being aware of which products you should use when cleaning your car. It can be difficult to keep up sometimes, but it’s worth it in the end.