Car Repair Mistakes to Avoid

Car Repair Mistakes to Avoid

If you are like most people, your car gets you to many places daily. It is more than just  transportation, it is what you rely on everyday to make your day work for you. Whether it is sitting in rush hour traffic on your way to work or hustling the kids to soccer practice, your car does a lot for you.

Now, you should also consider what you do for your car. I am talking about car repair mistakes to avoid. There’s plenty you can do to prevent major issues, but there’s a lot you can do when issues do arise.

Here are the top car repair mistakes to avoid:

Avoiding maintenance

The key to the longevity of your ride is keeping up with regular maintenance. Checking tire tread, changing the oil, and keeping up with air pressure will make a difference for your daily commute. Nothing is worse than sliding around on bald tires or seeing a plume of smoke come out of your exhaust, and realizing you are far past due for an oil change.

Here’s what you should be checking on monthly:

  • Air pressure: This one you can’t eyeball. Grab a cheap tire air pressure gauge and keep it in your car. Once a month, while you normally stare into the oblivion filling up on gas, check the air pressure instead. It should be quick and painless.
  • Check your fluids: even if you are not comfortable changing the fluids, at least learn how to check the levels and know when they get low.
  • Check your own oil: keeping track of your oil level is important and is easy to fill up when you are in between oil changes.
  • Check your battery and make sure the contacts are clean.
  • Replace windshield wipers if necessary.
  • Filters: checking the cabin filter and engine air filters will also be a quick and easy fix if necessary.
  • Spark plugs: sometimes your spark plugs need to be replaced. This should also be easy and cheap to do yourself.

Pro tip: consult your car’s owner’s manual to be sure you are doing everything correctly and using the proper fluids, oil, plugs, etc.

Having friends “fix” it

Choosing someone to help repair and/or maintain your car can also make or break the bank. If you choose a friend over a mechanic, you could possibly sacrifice any warranties you have on your car. You also have no guarantees that the problem will be fixed, and it is possible that they could further damage your vehicle. Unless that friend is a mechanic.

Ignoring recalls

Notifications on your vehicle’s recalls should be taken seriously and done promptly. While cars are built safer than they have ever been before, defects still happen. Ignoring these alerts can put yourself and your family in danger.

Turning a blind eye to warning lights

Warning lights that pop up on your dash are not just for fun and aesthetics. They mean something and you should investigate why they are alerting you. It could be that your oil is low, your tires need a little more inflation or it could be more serious. Either way, you want to know why the light is flashing and how serious it is for your car.

Using the wrong fluid

As mentioned above, you should learn how to check your fluid levels and regularly inspect them. If you know how to change them, that’s excellent. However, you should always be sure that you are using the correct fluid type. Brake fluid, engine oil, transmission fluid and coolant all come in a variety of types. You cannot just guess and go, or you can do some damage. Take the time to find what fluid was made for your car.

Not double checking your work

Sure, there are repairs that any person can make, such as changing a flat to get off the side of the road or changing your car’s oil. However, you should always remember to use the carpenter’s rule of thumb: measure twice, cut once. This simply means that you should always double check your work because you can’t cut it twice.

Taking info on the web as the word

If there is one thing we have all learned in this modern era, it is that what you read on the internet isn’t always accurate or perfect. Since anybody can write whatever they want without much monitoring, what you find on the web should always be taken with a grain of salt. This goes for YouTube videos as well.

Self diagnosing

You have to give auto mechanics a ton of credit. They learn about many different makes and models of cars, and all the new technology they require. Giving them details on what is wrong with your car is great, but let them do their job and diagnose the problem. They are well-trained and good mechanics know exactly what they are doing.

Bottom Line

Your car does a lot for you and to give back, you need to treat your car well. This means regularly inspecting your car for the minor things (air pressure, oil level and other fluid levels) while getting the proper advice from trained mechanics when it comes time. By avoiding the most common repair mistakes, you can be sure you car will last a long time and you won’t be dumping tons of money into unnecessary repairs.