Cost of car maintenance and car servicing may be hard to consume, postponing regularly scheduled maintenance actually can result in more costly problems in the long run.
• Not changing the oil on time. Oil changes are part of the regularly scheduled car maintenance intervals. The manufacturer may recommend changing the oil at specific intervals, sometimes as high as every 10,000 miles, or when an oil monitoring sensor indicates the oil is dirty. So, the first step in being “on time” knows what is recommended for your vehicle.
• Don’t rotate your tyres? They will develop a negative wear pattern and wear out prematurely. Regular wheel alignment checks will keep the tyres rolling straight ahead. Steering and suspension parts wear over time; this causes the wheel alignment to go out. Leave it alone and the tyres wear out. Leave it longer and worn steering and suspension parts accelerate wear on each other and tyres.
• Every day people drive their cars until they hear grinding coming from the wheels when they stop. Then they have to spend time and money to repair the brakes. Whenever you go into the workshop for an oil change, have the brakes checked. This way you’ll find out you need brakes before they get so bad that it costs you hundreds.
• Tyres must be checked for proper inflation rates regularly. When tyres are allowed to run low, two things happen. Negative wear patterns develop and premature tyre failure can occur, all from a low air pressure. Keep those tyres blown up! Not only will they last longer, you’ll get better gas mileage too. Why? Because properly inflated tyres offer less rolling resistance, hence you don’t have to step harder on the gas to overcome the resistance from a low tyre.
• When you check the fluids regularly, you’ll notice when you have fluid loss, which might be due to a leak. This is a tipoff to check that system for a leak and repair it before it escalates to big bucks. Common fluids include engine coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, differential fluid, transfer case lubricant.
• A failed sensor is a common reason for a “check engine” light to illuminate and also results in the engine misfiring. Ignoring this problem could cause the larger problem of the catalytic converter failing, which would result in the car not passing emissions.
• Neglecting coolant, brake, transmission and other fluids. While oil is key to the proper operation of your engine, there are other fluids critical to keeping your car running well. The owner’s manual will have a list of recommendations for how often to service these components. Delays in service, or ignoring them altogether, could result in damage not just to the specific component but to the engine or other parts as well, resulting in a very high repair bill.