We all like to take care of our own cars, teenagers especially. The commitment generally wears off as soon as a busy life gets in the way. Those new to driving will want to celebrate their new independence by taking care of all aspects of car maintenance while the rest of us simply want to save some cash.
There are mistakes to be made though and these can be costly to repair.
Forgetting the Tyres
Many people forget just how important tyres are and will skip general maintenance tasks in order to save time and money. In fact, the tyres can lead to a lot of trouble if not properly taken care of, from minor accidents to prosecution. The incorrect tyre pressure not only drags on your steering but forces your car to use more fuel to keep up. Suddenly this ten second job doesn’t seem so time consuming after all.
Also, although a car will travel ok on tyres that are less than perfect it’s never a good idea to let the tread get near to its limit. A slippery road or an eagle eyed policeman can put a stop to your avoidance tactics in a way more inconvenient manner than having a tyre replaced.
You know that keeping your car clean can keep it healthy. It helps you spot minor bumper scuffs and see when you may need scratch repair. It also stops rust from developing. Sometimes you can actually do more harm than good depending on the products you use.
Household cleaners can damage the paintwork and cause erosion, just like you wouldn’t use a kitchen spray on a solid wood table, you shouldn’t use household detergents on your car. It needs something gentle and acid free.
Waxing is not the same as polishing either, despite popular belief, it is the art of adding an impenetrable layer of wax to a car while polishing is just adding shine (not products involved or those that are removed in the polishing process).
You should also note the difference between cleaning your car and having a car wash. A car wash will clean what you can see from the outside but does little for maintenance. To clean your car you need to get into the alloy wheels with a soft brush and underneath near the brakes and the mud guards where you could find potential rust.
The advancement of technology means that many cars are now like Kit from Knight Rider and only the designated driver (or manufacturer) knows how to perform simple tasks. This leaves many guessing, with some getting so frustrated they actually prise bonnets open with crowbars or disconnect all electrics to force in an unsuitable part.
The internet is a great resource, use it to find the answers you’re looking for.
Leaving Things until the Last Minute
You know that if you need scratch repair you should have it done as soon as possible or the problem could become a lot worse. This along with the occasional bumper scuff is cheap to fix but many ignore larger problems in a bid to save time and money.
If a warning light is flashing on your dashboard, don’t ignore it as many do. It may be nothing but it’s more likely to be something, even if it’s the warning light bulb!
Always Having the Radio On
We all love company in a car and we’re all guilty of singing along to our favourite tunes whether we have a great voice or not. The rise of smartphones means our favourite songs are just a tap away and journeys are rarely silent. This is why many problems are missed by drivers. Having complete silence in the car for just ten minutes a week can help you identify any strange noises that could signify a problem. Try it and see what you hear!
Is your car already suffering from these car maintenance mistakes? Contact us today and we’ll help you smoothen things out!