If you enjoy murder mysteries, here’s one for you. Who is killing your car? The surprise ending might be that the murderer is you.
Unfortunately, even the best car owners can get lax in maintaining their vehicle. It’s very easy to take any vehicle for granted and forget all the little things we need to do, to keep our cars running well. So, no worries. But if you want to take better care of your car, here are at least four ways that perfectly well-intentioned people end up hurting their vehicles.
Putting off repairs. Nobody wants to hear that they need to replace and alternator or fix a coolant leak. It’s true that car problems often come at financially inconvenient times but delaying something that needs fixing could later put you in a real fix. For instance, your car won’t start without a properly operating alternator. Usually an alternator will work intermittently before is stops working all together. If your alternator is starting to fail, you will usually get some warning signs, like the battery light comes on, the starter turns slowly or in general some warning lights come on with our any explanation. With this situation your battery is working much harder than it was intended to work. So, a bad alternator that is not replaced can sometimes kill off a perfectly good car battery, which means you would have to replace the alternator and the car battery.
Meanwhile, proper coolant/antifreeze is so important that a leak that isn’t fixed could lead to eventually lead to having to replace your entire engine because of over-heating or freezing.
In other words, watch for early signs of issues and don’t delay in getting them looked at. If your Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission of Cary technician advises you to do a car repair, it’s best to do it as soon as you’re able. Better to spend some money now than pay a lot more later.
Not regularly changing the engine oil. Some of you will read this and think getting your oil changed regularly is the most obvious advice in the world. But some of you probably can’t remember the last time you had your oil changed. And if you do think it’s been a ridiculously long time since you’ve had your oil changed, please, run for your car and get your vehicle to Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission of Cary and if not us, well, somewhere that can give you an oil change, because we do care, and we don’t want you to damage your vehicle.
Once your engine oil get so dirty that the filter can’t filter any longer, most engines will bypass the filter to keep the oil flowing. This is dirty, unfiltered oil that is being pumped throughout your engine. Once the properties of the oil break down then all the metal components in the engine will be pressing against each other, with no lubrication. This isn’t just bad, but if your engine is not properly lubricated there’s an excellent chance your car may end up on the side of the road, smoking pouring out of the hood, with your engine destroyed.
Not paying attention to your car’s maintenance schedule. Many parts on your vehicle wear over time and if you want to make your car last, you’ll need to get some of its’ parts replaced. Your owner’s manual maps out when to service the different systems on your vehicle. These are items like your timing belt or your serpentine belt. If you aren’t on top of that, the good news is that if you’re getting your oil changed regularly, your Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission of Cary mechanics are taking a look at your whole vehicle, including the engine and advising you when thing need to be serviced. It might be an air filter or spark plugs or that serpentine belt needs replacing. But, still, if you really want to protect your car, you’ll follow the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. And while you may end up at Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission of Cary a little more than you have been in the past, at least the visits will be planned and on purpose rather than the alternative, which is visiting in the cab of a tow truck that’s bringing your vehicle in to be looked at.
Driving over potholes. OK, you probably understand running over a pothole can damage your car. Sometimes, you have no choice but to run over one, or many of them, it’s either run over a pothole or swerve and miss it but hit a few passing cars. But how many of us have driven over potholes simply because our mind was wandering? Maybe some of us have seen a pothole enough times to safely swerve away from them but then thought, “Well, it doesn’t look that bad,” or, “Well, I’ve driven over this pothole before without any major problems,” and so we didn’t try to dodge them? Eventually, a pothole may end up costing us big-time. A few years ago, the American Automobile Association concluded that pothole damage costs American drivers about $3 billion a year. The average repair for pothole damage repairs is $306.
Fortunately, according to the data out there, it’s most likely that you’ll just hurt a tire and not your actual car – but the damage from a pothole could go beyond tires. As today’s vehicle manufactures search for ways to improve gas mileage, they are using lighter and lighter materials to build cars. The wheels/rims on your vehicle are most likely aluminum. Although very strong, they can be bent by a direct hit from a pot hole. Further, your cars suspension could be affected through broken ball joints, damaged shocks or struts or misalignment of the wheels. In extreme cases, your car’s body could be banged up; you might ding your exhaust pipes or damage the belly pan. As you can imagine, none of this is good for your car.
Seriously, if you don’t put off needed repairs, get your engine oil changed regularly, properly maintain the vehicle by the manufacturers maintenance schedule and practice defensive driving habits like avoiding potholes when you can, your car will someday likely become the vehicle’s version of an active senior citizen, aging but with plenty of life left in it. Then you will be killing it, instead of killing your vehicle.