As the saying goes, it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. So if there aren’t obvious performance problems with your vehicle, it might be easy to think that everything is fine. However, since your car is one of your most valuable possessions, don’t wait until you see a smoking engine or a blown tire before you decide it’s time to do some preventative maintenance.
Review this list of common mistakes below to ensure you don’t get blindsided by potentially bigger problems:
- Ignoring a Hot Engine – If you notice a hot engine smell or have smoke or steam coming from your engine, it could lead to extensive and expensive repairs or even catastrophic failure if it’s not addressed quickly. For a smoking car, it is safest to pull over immediately and call for a tow.
- Failing to Maintain your Tires – Your car’s tires are what keep you moving smoothly on the road and help you come to an abrupt stop, safely. When your tires have low air pressure, it can cause extensive wear and tear quicker than normal and affect the way your vehicle handles the road, including your stop time. Dangerous blow-outs occur most on tires that have not been properly maintained (aired up, rotated, aligned, and replaced).
- Dismissing Warning Lights – Whether it’s the Check Engine, Oil Pressure, Brake Warning, or other light on your car’s dashboard, it needs to be checked out. The Brake Warning light could mean your emergency brake is slightly engaged or your brake fluid is low – either way, don’t take the risk. Low Oil Pressure or other Engine malfunctions could cause serious problems, or even permanently disable your vehicle.
- Forgetting Regular Oil Changes – Although newer cars can go longer without an oil change, it is still important to make sure you keep up with what your manufacturer recommends. Clogged filters, engine residue from dirty oil, and lack of proper lubrication could cause your entire engine to shut down.
- Not Checking Fluid Levels – There are many other fluids besides oil that help your car perform properly. Make it a point to check and top off the following fluids as necessary: Engine Coolant, Power Steering Fluid, Brake Fluid, Windshield Wiper Fluid, and Transmission Fluid.
- Not Replacing Windshield Wipers – Make it a point to check your wipers at every turn of the season so you can replace them before your next storm. It’s time to replace your wipers if they have any of the following issues: they make streaks or splotches across your windshield, the rubber has hardened and/or has cracks and a jagged edge, they no longer make full contact with the windshield, or they are simply ineffective in rainy and snowy weather.
The best thing you can do to avoid making these common mistakes is to keep your car properly maintained by having routine preventative maintenance checks at your local Kwik Kar Service Center. We keep up with all the records for you, so don’t think you have to remember everything on your own. It’s our pleasure to make sure you and your car stay as safe on the road as possible!