A car is often one of the most expensive purchases in someone’s life, so it’s no surprise that taking care of a vehicle should be a top priority. While many Americans know check engine lights and tire pressure need to be monitored, too often are cars susceptible to damage when an owner neglects important maintenance issues.
With many car owners in the dark about how they can best tend to their vehicles, CarMD.com and its Auto Service Excellence-certified Master Technicians released a list of the top maintenance mistake car owners make.
“When consumers fail to properly maintain their vehicles, the resulting repair costs dwarf the money that could have been budgeted to maintain their car,” said Art Jacobsen, vice president, CarMD.com Corporation. “As a result, CarMD reached out to our ASE-certified Master Tech committee to confirm the top 10 most damaging mistakes drivers make. We believe this information will help consumers save money in the long run and plan better as they care for what is often their second largest purchase.”
According to CarMD, the top maintenance mistake is not following a car’s recommended or scheduled maintenance. It is critical auto owners know their car manual and follow the suggested schedules. It will not only help keep them safer on the road, but it will also save money later on for costly repairs.
Other mistakes that appeared on the list include neglecting coolant, brake, transmission and other fluid services, continuing to drive when the vehicle is overheating, not changing fuel and air filters, having unqualified shops service your vehicle, using generic aftermarket parts instead of original equipment manufacturer-quality parts and trying to service your own high-tech vehicle.
Teens could be more likely to put off maintenance
A separate survey conducted by AutoMD.com indicates that teens might be more to blame in putting off auto maintenance and repairs. The survey showed that nearly 66 percent of parents said their teenagers were “somewhat or completely clueless” or “average” when it came to knowledge of their cars.
AutoMD suggest that all car owners know their vehicle’s maintenance schedule, in addition to becoming familiarize with systems that require regular maintenance like the car’s fluids, tires, brakes, and oil and filter changes.
Those considering new cars for themselves or their teenager might want to consider the Nissan Altima, as it has been named a Top Safety Pick+ vehicle by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The designation places it as one of the safest vehicles on the market.