“She is still running as good as new”. That is what many car owners think. As long as she is running, you can always postpone that engine check, to your peril, of course. Negligence is going to cost you dearly because you will make more trips to the garage for repairs, or the vehicle will be involved in grisly accidents that may cost life.
Let us say upfront that any service, apart from the one recommended by the manufacturer, is not necessary. It will just cost you extra money. You are better off avoiding that.
Why do people neglect to give their cars the attention they deserve?
Today’s cars are better than their predecessors. They can run a long time without any hitches and that may lead one to believe that everything is all right. It is not about knowing what to do to maintain your car, but it is about knowing the most overlooked things in car maintenance.
Ignoring the scheduled maintenance
Almost every car owner is guilty of this. At one time or another we feel that we don’t have the time to take the car for servicing. The bad news is that while the car will keep on running, when it starts falling apart, only you will be to blame and you will pay a big price to get it moving again. Think about it this way… if your child had a schedule with the doctor, would you postpone it for anything? Well, it is the same with your car. You take care of it; it will take care of you.
Ignoring to change the fluids
The transmission fluids need to be changed from time to time. For example, ignoring to change the oil. Or not changing it in good time could see you spending much more money when the engine dies on you.
Has your automatic transmission oil been checked? If you drive manual, has your manual transmission oil been checked lately? Remember, it is the small things that matter.
It is not only about the engine oil, but there are other fluids like the brake fluid, steering fluid and the engine coolant fluid. Check them everyday if possible and top them up whenever the need arises.
Not changing your car oil on time
If you would like smooth transition, do not buy cheap engine oils. Such loose their functionality fast leaving the transmission system vulnerable as you watch the servicing schedule.
Not changing the engine oil has been listed by technicians all over the world as the one negligent thing that can have the most serious effect on your engine.
Don’t push those filters too far
The oil filters clean the oil going into the engine of any impurities. If you let your oil filter wear away, you could be letting impurities get into your engine and soon, it will knock. The same applies to the air filters. They should be changed on schedule and most important, if you live in the dusty parts of Africa, the air filter should be changed more often.
Ignoring wheel rotation
Vehicle owners find that their tires do not wear out evenly. This could lead to buying one pair of tires one time too many. Rotate them so that they wear out evenly and then you can buy a complete set. You can rotate the wheels diagonally, that is, the wheel on the front right to go to the rear left and vice versa, or you can rotate them front to back.
Using the wrong cleaning products
Giving your car a good cleaning and waxing is ok, but not when you do it with the cleaning products that you use for scouring the floor, or for doing the utensils in the kitchen. Car cleaning products are specifically made to preserve the paintwork of the car body. Therefore, you should use the designated detergents only.
Using low quality spare parts for your car
Don’t we all want to save money? Yes we do. However, we compromise the quality of our cars a great deal and unknowingly; we dig deeper into our pockets anyway. For example, inferior parts will wear out faster and so you will be back to the shops faster, spending more money than you should.
Respond to that check engine light on the dash
When the check engine light goes on, your car will still be operational and therefore you will most easily ignore it and put it off to another day, only that other things come up and eventually, its forgotten, until the car stalls. Then you spend quite an amount of money on the car and you regret your negligence. When the check engine light comes on, schedule an appointment with your mechanic in a few days.