One of the most essential duties of a car owner is maintenance. Even the most reliable owner can make a mistake when caring for their car. Here are 8 common maintenance mistakes to avoid. If you still have questions, the crew at Black Label Automotive can help you out.
Over Inflating Tires.
Proper inflation of tires is important for gas mileage, handling, and braking. The mistake often made is inflating the tires to the Maximum Pressure value printed on the tire. That value is not the car manufacturer’s recommended pressure. The correct inflation pressure can be found in the owner’s manual and on the tire pressure placard. The placard is located on the rear door frame member of the driver’s door opening.
Topping Off Fluids.
Checking the brake, power steering, engine oil, and radiator fluids is an important maintenance task. However, if you repeatedly need to top off any fluids, something more serious is wrong. If the fluid is frequently low, it is leaking or being burned. Neither is good. If you have to top off any reservoir more than once, it is best to take the vehicle to a shop for a close inspection.
The oil and air filters must also be changed when changing the engine oil. Some car manufacturers specify longer air filter change intervals than oil filter changes. If you live in a dusty area, the air filter can quickly become clogged with dust particles. It is better to err on the side of prevention than to risk reduced engine efficiency and engine life.
Failing to Inspect Tires
Even a 70,000-mile tire may wear irregularly or prematurely. There may be hidden damage. Either can leave you stranded. An extreme tire failure at highway speeds can be fatal. Look for uneven wear, cuts, chips, and cracks in the rubber. If you see any of these, get to a tire shop as soon as possible.
Forgetting Belts and Hoses
Modern belts and hoses fail so seldom that we forget about them. They should be inspected at least at every oil change. Bulging or cracked hoses must be replaced. Chipped, frayed, or cracked belts as well. Failure of either will leave you stranded. A failed serpentine belt can destroy an engine. Don’t forget about it!
No Brake Inspections
Brakes should be checked at least at each oil change. Pad thickness and disc condition should be assessed regularly. Scraping, squealing, or pulsating sensation when braking indicates problems with the brakes.
Skipping Oil Changes
Oil changes impact engine efficiency and life. Skipping oil changes will lead to reduced gas mileage. It can also cause premature wear of engine components. Since most of the car’s other systems are checked at oil change time, skipping an oil change can cause other issues to go unnoticed.
Not Reading the Owner’s Manual
One of the most critical maintenance practices is to read the manual. To properly maintain your automobile, you must be familiar with the manufacturer’s recommendations. You do not need to read every word. You do not need to memorize it. Read enough to be familiar with the information contained in it. Your maintenance practices will be much more successful.
Eric Reyes is a passionate thought leader having been featured in 50 distinguished online and offline platforms. His passion and knowledge in Finance and Business made him a sought-after contributor providing valuable insights to his readers. You can find him reading a book and discussing current events in his spare time.