Unless you own a house, your car is likely to be the most expensive thing you own – so why not treat it with respect? “Maintenance?! Pah!” you probably think, assuming your ride will take care of itself.
Well, until we have self-repairing robot cars, this is not the case. Car repair is absolutely your responsibility, whether you visit a garage or attempt it yourself. It’s a very complex area to dabble in, and there are a lot of mistakes to be made.
Here are some of the biggest you’ll want to avoid, unless you want an empty wallet!
Mistake 1: Using the wrong type of oil – Engine oil comes in a variety of types and weights. Different models of car, and different engines, each take different kinds of oil. That means if you switch from a gas car to a diesel car, you can’t just bring forward your oil and use it again.
Using the wrong type of oil won’t cause any super catastrophic damage, but it will cause your engine to run poorly. Over time, this can lead to reduced, inefficient performance and even engine failure. Keep an eye on the oil’s label, and bear in mind your car make and model. If you’re unsure, contact the manufacturer or visit a garage.
Mistake 2: Going to a cheap mechanic – We all want to save money, but is the place to do that when it comes to repairing your very expensive car? Not really. Working with a slightly more premium, but slightly better, car repair mechanic would be far better than resorting to the one down the road.
Look at your options, and assess cost versus reputation. Generally, finding the perfect balance of the two is best. Don’t just go expensive because it’s expensive – look for a more middle of the road option for the best value.
Mistake 3: Not checking the spare tire – Does your car come with a spare tire? Have you ever bothered to inspect it? If you answered yes then no, you’ve made a potentially costly mistake. Imagine you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere and you need that spare tire… but the air pressure or tread depth isn’t right. Now, you’re stuck!
There’s a simple solution here. Whenever you check your main tires’ pressure and tread depth, check the spare too. This way, when you need it, you can be rest assured it’s fit for duty. This is an essential check!
Mistake 4: Constantly using water instead of proper coolant – Using water to replace engine coolant is a fine temporary solution, but in the long run, proper coolant is better. If you run out of fluid on the highway and need a quick top up, by all means use water. But when you get back home, make it a point to go and buy some proper stuff!
Water will cool your engine, but not as well as full coolant will. Plus, this water will run out incredibly quickly when compared to coolant. This means you’ll be changing it extremely frequently.