Have you ever wondered why some people can keep their vehicles on the road seemingly forever, while others trash theirs in record time? It’s not rocket science, but some drivers have an innate ability to drive cars into the proverbial ground without trying. The key words here may be “without trying” to maintain their vehicles so they run at their peak.
Needless to say, we’re all different. Some of us take the time to check fluids, tire pressure, head and tail lights for functionality, but a few of us take the beast we drive for granted. After all, cars are meant to be driven and trucks driven harder. Interesting point of view but, when you consider the price of a new car or truck these days…keeping it running should be a priority.
Those of you who unlock the doors, turn the ignition key and drive away on a regular basis, without so much as checking to see when you last had your vehicle serviced, are headed for a costly conversation with a mechanic.
The five most common mistakes that drivers make that are sure to speed up the demise of their vehicle are:
1. Ignoring Regular Maintenance Schedule
Neglect and mistreatment will turn your new vehicle into an unappreciative pile of junk in no time, especially if you make a habit of it. Your vehicle’s manufacturer sets maintenance guidelines for a reason. Regular service, including oil and filter replacement at the proper mileage intervals, as well as inspecting transmission fluid, air filter, and brake pads can keep the vehicle running and operating safely. Of course, you can always wait until the engine or transmission give out and drop some heavy cash to replace them.
2. Ignoring the All-Important Dash Warning Lights
Those annoying flashing engine or other lights on your instrument panel are nothing more than a warning and can be ignored until something really bad happens. Well, those annoying lights are typically telling you something bad is about to happen to your engine or other vital component of your vehicle. If a dash light comes on while driving, address the problem immediately. Don’t wait!
3. Shifting the Transmission While Moving
Avoid shifting the transmission from drive into reverse or the other way around while the vehicle is still moving. The more often you do this the more you’re going to spend in a short period of time. Transmissions are extremely costly to replace and this type of “jerky” practice can destroy an automatic transmission fairly quickly.
4. Erratic Driving
Peeling rubber at a stop light, only to brake hard at the next light – 200 yards away – isn’t doing your car any good. While driving like this won’t necessarily destroy your engine, transmission or braking system on the spot, over time you better believe it will. Repeatedly pushing your car this way can lead to premature fluid leaks, broken seals as well as early brake pad and rotor replacement.
5. Delaying Tire Replacement
Tires are not cheap and sometimes you have to wait until the money is available to get some new rubber on your car. Understandable. However, you don’t want to put it off to the point that your life is at risk and your vehicle could cause a crash.
Bald tires are extremely dangerous in the rain, with the chance of hydroplaning a virtual reality. If one of the tires blow out, you could easily lose control and wind up causing more damage to your vehicle than a new set of tires would have cost.
In the end, not adhering to routine maintenance can cost you in another way – by voiding your vehicle’s manufacturer’s warranty, which means whatever you blow up is on your dime.
When it comes to car insurance, if you’re ignoring the fact that you may be paying too much and don’t do anything about it, you’re tossing your money away. The best way to find low cost auto insurance is by comparing rates. Why not get a free auto insurance quote today?