Car Maintenance Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid
When you’re cruising down the highway with the music cranked up and the traffic is moving along smoothly, car maintenance is the last thing you’re thinking about. This is the case with most mechanical devices in our lives. We rarely think about fixing them until something goes wrong or they break down.
Most mechanical devices require some sort of regular maintenance, and this is especially true when it comes to our cars. This doesn’t always mean a trip to your mechanic. There are some simple car maintenance tasks you can perform yourself, while others are probably better left to a professional. Regardless of who performs it, keeping on top of car maintenance can often prevent poor performance, a roadside breakdown, a costly repair, or even an accident.
Replace Light Bulbs
Although this can be a bit tricky with some models, this is often a relatively simple car maintenance task. It is also a very important task when it comes to your safety on the road.
It will become obvious pretty quickly if your headlights or high beams are burnt out as it will be difficult to impossible to see at night. Most cars have indicators on the dashboard if your turn signals are functioning properly. Less obvious is an issue with your tail lights, brake lights, and running lights. These are equally important, so get someone to help you and take a walk around your car periodically to make sure they are all working.
If any of your car’s light bulbs are burned out, grab your owner’s manual and see how to replace them. If it looks complicated, replacing the bulb doesn’t fix the problem, or you just don’t want to attempt it, take it to your mechanic. Burned out lights will not only make it difficult for you to see, it will make it difficult for other drivers to see you or know what you are doing such as turning or stopping. This could easily cause an accident. Headlights, turn signals and brake lights that aren’t working are also traffic offenses that can result in getting pulled over and possibly getting a ticket.
Making sure your tires are in good shape and are replaced if they’re not is another car maintenance task which can affect your car’s performance and your safety.
While it is tempting to get as many miles as you can out of your tires before replacing them, it isn’t a good idea. In order to perform properly and safely, it needs to maintain proper contact and traction with the road. Most people depend on their cars every day to get to work, get the kids to school, doctor’s appointments and shopping. Your tires get a lot of wear, and tear and even though the manufacturer gives wear and replacement guidelines based on mileage, there are other factors to consider.
Even if the tread looks decent, rubber deteriorates over time. This type of damage might not be obvious, but minuscule cracks can develop and cause the loss of structural rigidity. In addition to affecting the tires’ performance, if the rubber disintegrates where the tread joins the tire, the tread can separate. This probably won’t happen at a convenient time or place such as pulling into your driveway. Those few extra miles you try to squeeze out of your tires aren’t worth being stranded on the side of the road changing a tire or waiting for help.
Keep Fluids at the Proper Level
The are other fluids that are important to your car other than gasoline. We all know what happen if you run out of gas, but if the level of other fluids vital to your car’s performance gets too low, it could cause serious and costly damage.
Your owner’s manual will tell you how to check and refill your coolant/antifreeze, oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid and windshield washer fluid. In some cases, these levels can decrease just from normal use and in other cases, it is a sign that something is wrong. It is also important not to overfill when replenishing these fluids.
Again, this is a relatively simple car maintenance task, but if you’re not comfortable adding fluids, at least make sure you check the levels. If something is low, take your car to the mechanic before it causes damage. They can refill fluids to the proper level and determine if there is a more serious problem.
We Can Help with Car Maintenance
Holiday Service Center has been a trusted Auto Service and Repair Shop in Toms River, NJ for over 30 Years. Our ASE certified technicians have the knowledge, training, and tools to give you the best service possible.