Car Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid


Those of us that tend to our cars as we should are few and far between. We tend to neglect our cars until something goes wrong. In a bid to save money, we take a pass on fixing the small things, but this ends up costing in the long run in the form of more advanced, expensive problems that could have been avoided in the first place. Here are a few car blunders that are all too common and that should be avoided.

Not Tending to Your Tires

Tires are probably the most neglected aspect of a vehicle—until one goes completely flat, we tend not to pay them much mind. Over-inflated or under-inflated tires both wear out more quickly, and may not perform as well during emergency maneuvering. Too little air can also waste gas. Check pressure regularly and keep it to the amount recommended in your owner’s manual. Regular rotation is also good to help them wear evenly, which means they will last longer.

Not Changing the Oil Frequently Enough

If you fail to change the oil as frequently as you should, you may have a very expensive problem on your hands. Oil basically keeps your engine alive, and old, sludgy oil, or too little of it, can cause a variety of issues with this core component of your vehicle. While you may be able to get away with a few longer-than-recommended stretches of not changing the oil, regular neglect will catch up with you. Experts recommend changing oil every 3,000 miles for optimal engine car, though most cars are able to go about 6,000, sometimes longer, before actually needing it changed.

Ignoring Your Brakes

Not giving your brakes the proper maintenance or repairs they require can not only be dangerous, it can end up being a repair more expensive than it needs to be; wear them down too much, and you may need new rotors as well, which costs a lot more than just brakes—I speak from experience on this one. If you notice humming or any other types of sounds, or you see that fluid levels are low in the master cylinder, have them checked immediately.

Not Replacing Air Filters Frequently Enough

Your air filters serve a very important purpose in your vehicle, and it is very easy to forget about them. But, if you are driving around with a dirty, clogged air filter, your engine needs to work harder, which means it is burning more fuel. Failure to replace filters as needed can also directly damage the engine.

Not Changing Wipers

This is probably one of the most common mistakes and least expensive to rectify. Worn-out wipers make it more difficult to see, which puts you and other drivers sharing the road with you, at risk. Ideally you should buy new wipers every six months. Replacing them near the end of fall is always a good idea to have a new set in place for winter, the time when you really need a good pair.

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things auto; if you  need car insurance in Canada, she recommends visiting

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