Mechanics Reveal Six of the Worst Car Care Mistakes

Mechanics Reveal Six of the Worst Car Care Mistakes

As a car owner, it’s important for you to know how to properly maintain of your ride. Some habits can make your vehicle more likely to experience an unexpected breakdown. Give your vehicle the simple TLC it needs to keep it running at its best, thus avoiding the need for unnecessary auto repair. In this blog, mechanics reveal six of the worst car care mistakes to avoid.

1. Using Thicker Motor Oil

As an engine ages, it’s not uncommon for it to consume motor oil at a faster rate. In an effort to solve this problem, some car owners opt to use a higher viscosity oil. While this tactic may slow oil consumption, there are some potential consequences.

Mechanics urge you to always use the automaker’s recommended oil grade. If the motor oil is too thick, it will have trouble circulating through the engine at startup. This means greater wear and tear will be placed upon the engine. You should also consider the fact that fuel economy may take a noticeable hit.

2. Driving On a Near-Empty Tank

Some car owners have a bad habit of driving on a near-empty tank. Aside from putting you at risk of running out of gas, this common car care mistake can also damage the fuel pump. Mechanics advise drivers to keep your tank at least a quarter full at times. Don’t wait for your vehicle’s low fuel light to come on.

The fuel pump relies on gasoline to stay cool. When there’s a lack of gas in the tank, there’s a much greater chance for the pump to overheat. Replacing a fuel pump can be a big expense, so don’t take any unnecessary chances.

3. Not Maintaining Proper Tire Pressure

A digital tire pressure gauge is a device that every car owner should buy. You can easily find one online for less than $15. Mechanics recommend checking your car’s tire pressure at least once a month. Never make the mistake of allowing the pressure to get too low. Underinflated tires typically wear down a lot sooner.

Low tire pressure is also a safety hazard. When your tires don’t have enough air, they are more likely to experience a sudden blowout. This is especially true when traveling on hot pavement. The impact of the explosion could be powerful enough to cause you to lose control.

4. Failing to Replace the Engine Air Filter

When bringing in your vehicle for an oil change, be sure to also have its engine air filter inspected. Mechanics estimate most air filters need to be replaced every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. Although an air filter is a simple part, it has a major impact on performance.

When an air filter becomes clogged, the engine won’t be able to take in enough fresh oxygen. Power can drop by as much as 30 percent. Sluggish acceleration is one of the biggest signs that your filter is too dirty.

5. Not Properly Washing Your Car

Washing your vehicle the wrong way can damage the exterior finish, thus lowering resale value. For starters, never wash your car in direct sunlight. This can cause stubborn water spots to develop. It’s also not a good idea to use dish detergent or any other household product to wash your car. The wrong detergents can strip the exterior’s protective wax.

When washing your vehicle, take the time to rinse its undercarriage. This is truly important during the wintertime. Road salt can cling to the metal parts, which makes rust more likely to develop. And rust on any car or truck, is most definitely something all drivers should take steps to avoid.

6. Allowing Your Engine to Warm Up for Long Periods

Idling is bad for the long-term health of your vehicle’s engine. An excessive warm-up period can actually decrease engine life. It only takes about 30 seconds to get the oil circulating. Even on cold mornings, don’t allow your vehicle to idle in the driveway for more than two minutes.

To quickly warm the engine to the optimum operating temperature, mechanics advise you to simply drive your vehicle as opposed to letting it idle for long periods. However, be sure to drive gently for the first couple of miles.

Yadkinville Auto