Whether you bought your vehicle brand new or second-hand, it’s important to take good care of it to make sure it stays in good shape for years. However, you may be making a few mistakes or forgetting key car maintenance procedures. As such, you end up cutting your car’s life short.
To keep your car running smoothly even as it ages, here are some tips for maintaining your car.
Not Using the Handbrake When Parking
Do you only engage the handbrake when you park on an incline? Stop this bad habit. You need to engage the handbrake whenever you park, whether you’re on a slope or a flat surface. Not using the handbrake puts too much stress on the transmission, which can lead to premature damage to its components.
Not Following the Oil Change Schedule
Most cars nowadays can run up to 8,000 to 10,000 kilometres before needing an oil change. The recommended schedule is usually indicated in your vehicle’s user manual. If you bought your vehicle used and the manual isn’t available, it’s easy to verify the oil change schedule with the car manufacturer. The bottomline is that you shouldn’t miss an oil change. Old motor oil can result in sludge deposits, which can lead to poor engine performance and other issues.
Using Low-Quality Replacement Parts
No matter how well you take care of your car, you can’t prevent accidents from happening. There’s also regular wear and tear that necessitates replacing car parts. If your vehicle needs new parts, don’t scrimp. The few dollars you save won’t matter if the car part you just bought breaks after just a few kilometres or worse, damages your car. You can easily find trusted car parts suppliers in Christchurch. Get in touch with us if you need high-quality replacement parts for your vehicle.
Ignoring Warning Lights
Your vehicle’s warning lights are there for a reason: they alert you to possible trouble. It might not be obvious at first but when it comes to your car, it’s better to be safe than sorry. In particular, take the time to bring your car to a certified auto mechanic if the Check Engine light comes on. There are several scenarios that can trigger the light, all of which can be bad for your vehicle.
Another warning light you should pay attention to is the TPMS or the tyre pressure monitoring system. Check this one out immediately if you see it on your dash. This means that a tyre or multiple tyres are losing air. There are also times when the TPMS light could be simply malfunctioning. If this is the case, bring your car to the service centre to have it fixed.
Not Checking Tyre Pressure
Driving with either over- or under-inflated tyres is bad for your car. It can cause poor handling, decreased fuel economy, and increased risk of tyre blowouts. Unfortunately, tyres can be over- or under-inflated even when they look perfectly normal. The easiest solution is to get your own tyre pressure gauge and perform regular checks. If your vehicle’s tyres keep losing air, have them checked by auto technicians. The tyre may be due for replacement.
Going Over Humps at Full Speed
Going over humps and bumps at full speed can damage several parts of your vehicle. These include the wheels and tyres, suspension, as well as the steering column. As much as possible, avoid potholes, bumps, and other obstacles on the road. If you can’t, then slow down and drive over them as carefully as you can.
Forgetting to Rotate the Tyres
Rotating your vehicle’s tyres and having them aligned are necessary steps for maintaining even treadwear and optimal handling. However, tyre rotation and alignment doesn’t need to be performed as often as other maintenance procedures. As such, many car owners forget to do them. Set an alarm or ask your trusted technician to give you timely reminders.
Letting Your Fuel Tank Stay Near-empty
Don’t get in the habit of letting your car’s fuel tank hover near-empty. Your vehicle’s fuel system functions at its best when you have the optimal amount of petrol in the tank. If you always drive with a near-empty tank, air can enter the fuel system and can affect its performance. It might even lead to frequent overheating. As much as possible, try to keep your car’s tank at least halfway or three-quarters of the way full most of the time. Taking care of your car isn’t just about extending its lifespan. It’s also about optimum performance and, more importantly, you and your passengers’ safety.