Buying a car—whether brand new or gently used—is always an investment, and it’s important to do everything in your power to safeguard that investment. This means being diligent about vehicle maintenance—and avoiding some of the most common maintenance errors. Here are a few such pitfalls to be aware of as you seek to protect your used car investment!
The Most Common Vehicle Maintenance Errors
Ignoring your check engine light when it comes on.
Your check engine light comes on only when there is a serious problem with the vehicle—one that needs to be diagnosed and repaired. In other words, when you see the light, it’s important to make an appointment with a local mechanic, sooner rather than later. The problem won’t resolve itself, and ignoring the light may only make it worse.
Driving on low-pressure tires.
It’s important to keep your tires properly inflated. In newer cars, you’ll receive an automatic alert when the pressure drops; in older cars, you may need to manually check the pressure with a tire gauge. Improperly inflated tires not only lower your fuel efficiency, but they make your vehicle less safe to operate.
Not having your tires rotated.
This isn’t something you have to do too often, but you should do it once or twice a year. Having tires rotated and wheels aligned prevents a lot of common problems—including uneven tread wear.
Skipping your oil change.
Again, this is something you’ll want to do at least a couple of times a year—however often your manufacturer recommends. A routine oil change helps you extend the life of your engine; without oil changes, the wear and tear could cause total engine failure—and that’s massively expensive to fix.
Neglecting fluid checks.
Oil isn’t the only fluid you’ll need to replace periodically. Brake fluid, engine coolant, power steering fluid—any or all of these could run short, and compromise the operation of your vehicle. Make sure you have fluids checked at your dealership or your local mechanic, whenever you go in for an oil change or tire rotation.
Not changing your windshield wipers.
Your wipers are not made to last forever. If they’re leaving big streaks on your windshield, or simply aren’t doing their job to keep your field of vision clear, it’s time for new wipers.
Ignoring the sounds of brake failure.
Do you hear a grinding or squealing noise when you brake? If so, then you need to have your brakes inspected—and possibly replaced. Your safety depends on it!
Failing to clean your car regularly.
We recommend monthly car cleaning sessions, at a minimum. It may not sound that important, but basic tidiness is one of the keys to maintaining your vehicle’s value.
Keep Your Car in Peak Condition
With the right maintenance, you can keep your car in optimal condition for a long time. These tips provide you with a start. For more information about maximizing your used car value, connect with Get My Auto today!