If we had a dime for every time we heard someone say “They just don’t make cars the way they use to.” … well, you know the rest. We have to say, however, thank goodness they don’t. How soon we forget having to rebuild engines and push our vehicles to pop start them.
Vehicles now are built to last. Most vehicles can be driven a decade or more without any major vehicle repairs unless, of course, they are involved in an auto collision or are neglected. If owners don’t keep up with the basics of car maintenance, then they can find themselves sinking money into salvaging what was once their pride and joy.
It’s important to pay attention to that maintenance manual and know what needs to be done to maintain our vehicles. We know, however, that manual contains a lot of information and can be intimidating, so we’re breaking down five major things owners should avoid doing to their car:
- Wait for a friendly reminder for your oil change. Your car most likely comes equipped with that little light that tells you it is time to change the oil. What you may not realize though – even with changing your oil exactly at every prescribed interval – is that your engine will burn or lose a bit of oil under normal conditions. You should check your vehicles oil regularly when you fuel up to make sure it’s full and clear. If you are running low on oil, your engine will run hotter and sludge deposits will form on moving parts which blocks oil flow. It is a good idea to top off oil in between regularly schedule oil changes.
- Forego the Carwash. By washing your car, you assist in removing deposits of dirt, salt, bird droppings and corrosive materials like brake dust. The longer these sit on your vehicle’s pristine finish the greater your odds of premature rust and corrosion. So, we encourage you to run out and grab a deal on a carwash package. The money will be well spent. Pick a day of the week and plan to have your car washed that day each week.
- Avoid fueling up until the last possible moment. Your fuel light is on, but you think you can make it another 35 miles before fueling up. Don’t wait until the last minute to fuel up. You can actually damage your fuel pump. Gasoline or diesel fuel acts as a lubricant inside your fuel pump and cools it at the same time. When you engage in fuel roulette, you are putting undue stress on your fuel pump, not to mention increasing your odds of walking to the gas station with that handy red gas container by your side.
- Ignore your warning lights. When a check engine light, ABS light, service 4WD or other indicator comes on, it’s serious business. These lights should not just be viewed as pesky little dash reminders. Something can be seriously wrong. Knowing that it can cost hundreds of dollars to diagnose and repair one of these warning lights may generate the tendency is to put it off, hoping that the light goes out and all is well. Warning lights don’t come on for no reason and the longer you choose to ignore them, the more costly your repairs can be.
- Never replace the air filter. The technician performing your oil change has recommended you change the air filter. Your first thought is they are just trying to upsell you. Odds are you probably need one, however. If you don’t believe it, have them pull it out and show you the proof in the pudding. By avoiding the air filter change, you are choking out your engine. Your engine needs to breathe in order to operate efficiently. Changing the air filter will ensure that the life of your vehicle is the best it can be.
Bay Ram Collision Center
20531 Mission Blvd., Hayward, CA 94541
Hours: 8 am – 5 pm M-F; 9 am – 1 pm