5 Car Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid for New Owners

Monday, July 13, 2020

As anyone who owns one will tell you, fixing a car is not always cheap. The average American spends nearly $2,000 over a five-year period on car repairs, while younger people tend to shell out a bit more.

If you're new to car ownership you may be unaware of common mistakes that can result in an unexpectedly big bill from a service shop. Here are five car maintenance mistakes you want to avoid to prevent a problem from getting worse—or happening in the first place.

1. Not Familiarizing Yourself With Your Vehicle's Owner's Manual

Every new car owner should read their vehicle's owner's manual from cover to cover.

Not only will you know how to operate every feature, but you'll familiarize yourself with the location of fluid reservoirs under the hood and the correct air pressure for your tires. Your manual also contains a schedule for the routine maintenance that should be performed when your car reaches milestones.

2. Delaying Scheduled Maintenance

As your car ages, certain fluids and parts need to be replaced so your engine and other components stay lubricated and function properly.

While it may be tempting to delay or skip scheduled maintenance as outlined in your owner's manual thinking it will save you money, it can lead to big maintenance jobs down the road. Sticking to the maintenance schedule will help your vehicle perform as it should and extend its life.

3. Ignoring Warning Signs and Problems

Small car problems can turn into costly big ones if they're ignored. Squeaky brakes, for example, are a sign that your brakes need to be serviced soon while dim dashboard lights or headlights may mean your alternator is starting to fail.

Don't ignore the small red flags. Bring your car to your dealer or a repair shop to catch and fix any problems before they leave you stranded on the side of the road.

4. Doing DIY Repair Work Incorrectly

Before attempting any maintenance or repair work yourself, make sure you know how to do it correctly and have the proper tools. This includes anything that may seem basic such as changing a tire, your oil, or even jumping your vehicle. Failing to do these correctly can put you at risk for injury.

If your owner's manual doesn't have specific instructions for the repair or maintenance job you plan to do yourself, search for it online so you'll know exactly what you're doing.

5. Attempting a Complicated Repair Yourself

On that note, while it's a great idea to tackle straightforward maintenance work yourself to save money, it's best to leave anything you don't know how to do to the pros. Otherwise, you could end up damaging your car or injuring yourself and will end up paying to have it fixed professionally anyway.

Don't Make These Car Maintenance Mistakes

These five common car maintenance mistakes can take the fun out of driving fast.

When in doubt, trust our service technicians here at B&M Auto Repair and Towing to fix your car properly and get you back on the road promptly. View our list of basic services and call us to make an appointment.

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