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15 Mistakes That Are Sending Your Car to an Early Grave

Keeping your car out of the repair shop and cruising for as long as possible is the dream, right? Well, many people might be accidentally turning that dream into a nightmare.

DIY ‘Repairs’

While it’s great to handle some car maintenance yourself, it’s wise to know your limits. Incorrect DIY repairs can do more harm than good. When in doubt, leave it to the professionals to avoid costly mistakes.

Letting Your Car Sit Idle Too Long

Think letting your car rest is doing it a favor? Think again. Because cars are meant to be driven, letting your vehicle sit idle for too long can lead to battery drain, tire deformation, and stale fluids. If you’re not going to drive it, make sure it’s properly stored and occasionally started to keep it in good shape.

Skimping on Insurance

Opting for the cheapest insurance might save you money now, but it could cost you a fortune in the long run. Cheap policies may not cover the use of original manufacturer parts for repairs, leading to more frequent and costly issues down the road. Invest in a policy that ensures quality repairs for your vehicle.

Ignoring Warning Signs

Those lights on your dashboard aren’t just for decoration—they’re your car’s way of telling you something’s wrong! Ignoring warning signs can lead to minor issues becoming major (and expensive) problems. Address warnings promptly to keep your car running smoothly.

Failing to Change the Oil Regularly

Old, dirty oil is like sludge for your car’s engine, causing friction and wear on moving parts. Regular oil changes flush out debris and ensure your engine runs efficiently. Stick to the recommended oil change schedule to keep your engine in tip-top shape.

Forgetting Regular Maintenance Checks

Skipping those routine check-ups? You might as well be shortening your car’s lifespan with your own hands. Regular maintenance, such as oil changes and tire rotations, is akin to giving your car a health boost. 

Ignoring these can lead to severe damage over time, making your car’s engine and other critical components wear out faster than you’d think.

Ignoring the Importance of Quality Fuel

Feeding your car low-quality fuel is like eating junk food for every meal; it’s bound to cause serious problems. Cheap gas can lead to build-up in your engine and clog fuel injectors, which diminishes performance and longevity. Opt for top-tier fuels that keep your engine clean and running smoothly.

Driving Through Potholes

It might seem fun to play dodge-the-pothole, but hitting them, especially at high speeds, can damage your vehicle’s suspension and wheels. Slow down and navigate around them when possible to protect your car’s undercarriage.

Neglecting the Car’s Exterior

Regular washes do more than make your car look good; they prevent rust and paint damage. Neglecting the car’s exterior can lead to corrosion and reduce your vehicle’s lifespan. Keep your car clean inside and out to maintain its integrity.

Forgetting the Brakes

Your brakes are vital, not just for safety but also for your car’s longevity. Worn brake pads and rotors can lead to more expensive repairs down the line. Listen for any noises or changes in braking performance and have your brakes checked regularly.

Letting It Run on Empty

Driving on fumes not only risks getting you stranded but also can suck debris into your fuel system, clogging filters and injectors. Keep your tank at least a quarter full to avoid unnecessary damage.

Neglecting Tire Pressure and Alignment

Driving on improperly inflated tires or with bad alignment is not just unsafe; it’s also an express ticket to early car retirement. 

Incorrect tire pressure can lead to uneven tire wear and reduced fuel efficiency, while poor alignment can cause a host of suspension problems. Keep those tires properly inflated and aligned for a smoother ride and longer vehicle life.

Disregarding the Air Filter

Your car’s air filter prevents dirt and debris from entering the engine and causing damage. A clogged air filter reduces performance and increases fuel consumption. Replace your air filter as recommended to keep your engine breathing freely.

Improper Storage

Storing your car for an extended period without preparation can lead to various issues, from flat spots on tires to battery drains. If you plan to store your car, take the proper steps like adding fuel stabilizer and disconnecting the battery.

Neglecting Interior Maintenance

Finally, don’t forget about the inside of your car. Cracked leather and dirty interiors not only reduce your driving pleasure but can also affect your car’s resale value. Use protective products and keep your interior clean to extend its life.

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