The average person spends nearly $400 every year just on car maintenance and repairs.
However, if you ignore signs of damage or put off regular maintenance because your car “seems” fine, you could easily end up spending much more than that.
If you want to keep your car in top working order and make sure you’re not spending too much on maintenance and repairs, there are some key car repair mistakes you need to avoid.
So, buckle up! We’re going to go through which mistakes to avoid to help keep your car out of the repair shop and on the road.
1. Waiting Until Something Is Wrong
If you don’t know much about cars, it’s easy to adopt a “set it and forget it” mindset. This means that you don’t think about your car until there’s something obviously wrong with it.
Not only can this lead to more serious issues later, but when you do eventually take it in to be fixed, the cost of repairs will likely be much higher than if you’d been taking it in for regular maintenance.
Instead of waiting until your car breaks down to take it to a mechanic, get on a regular maintenance plan for oil changes, tire rotations, etc.
Think of it almost as a physical for your car, where all its vitals get checked and signs of more serious issues can be noticed before it’s too late.
2. Ignoring Warning Lights
Most of the time, your car will tell you when something is wrong, thanks to the helpful warning lights on the dashboard.
However, how many of us have seen the “check engine” light come on, only to ignore it for a few weeks (or months)? These warning lights should be taken seriously.
Even if your car seems to be running just fine when a light turns on, it’s a sign that a more serious issue is lurking beneath. It’s best to take it to a mechanic as soon as you can, or you risk breaking down on the side of the road.
3. Not Replenishing Fluids
Just like humans need hydration to stay healthy, your car does as well. Your car relies on fluids like antifreeze, oil, and brake fluids to stay in good shape and help you get where you need to go.
Look through your car’s owner manual to see an overview of all the fluids that your specific make and model needs. In many cases, you can check and replenish the fluids in your car yourself.
Of course, if you’d prefer to leave it to a professional, that’s ok too.
4. Using Any Repair Shop
If you do a quick glance at a map of your surrounding area, you’re sure to find dozens of auto repair shops. However, not all repair shops are created equally.
If you take your car to a shop that employs uncertified technicians, there’s a chance that you might not get what you pay for in terms of service.
Instead, look for a mechanic that’s ASE certified, which is the industry standard for auto mechanics.
You also might consider going to a shop that specializes in your particular auto brand. For example, if you have a Chevrolet Tahoe, it might be better to take it to a shop that specializes in Chevys vs a shop that specializes in Hondas.
5. Ignoring Recalls
Sometimes, even the best cars are susceptible to safety recalls, when defects occur. If you don’t pay attention to recall notices, driving around could lead to a dangerous situation.
Typically, you’ll receive a recall notice in the mail. If you do, don’t throw it away! Instead, schedule an appointment to get the part repaired or replaced as soon as you can.
6. Not Changing Filters
If you don’t change the air filters in your home on a consistent basis, it puts a strain on your air conditioning system, which could ultimately lead to costly repairs.
The same concept is true for your car. Your vehicle contains air filters that collect dirt and dust over time. If they’re not cleaned or replaced, it can lead to issues with your air conditioner.
Or, in more serious cases, it can cause sensors to fail, leading to problems with your engine.
There are also fuel filters in your car which need to be replaced as well. Replacement filters are often inexpensive, and they can help prevent costly repairs later.
7. Ignoring Your Tires
Your tires are arguably one of the most important features of your car. And, unless you get a flat tire, they are easy to ignore.
However, you should regularly check your tire pressure to make sure they are properly inflated.
You should also get regular tire rotations and alignment services to make sure your car is safe to drive. And, don’t forget to inspect the tread too. If your tread is too worn down, you’re more susceptible to a blowout.
8. Hoping Issues Will Go Away
We’ve all been there before. You’re driving down the road and you hear a weird noise. You turn down the radio and realize it’s your car.
Your first instinct might be to keep driving and hope it goes away on its own. And that might be ok to do for a few minutes.
But, if the noise persists, it’s not a problem you can ignore, no matter how much you might like to. Instead of hoping it goes away on its own, take your car into the shop.
It’s better to be extra cautious than to ignore a serious issue.
Car Repair Mistakes Are Avoidable
Now that you know more about the most common car repair mistakes, you know what not to do. By scheduling regular maintenance for your car and taking care of issues when they occur, your car should last a long time.
Learn even more about how to take care of your car by browsing through our other articles before you go!