Modern cars are generally very reliable. Consumers can expect to drive for 100,000 miles, or more, without any major vehicle problems. However, that does not mean modern cars are maintenance free. Just like cars of yesteryear, your car needs some occasional attention. Here are 5 things you should never do to your car if you want to keep it running strong.
- Ignore warning lights. Those lights on the dashboard are there for a reason – to warn you if something is amiss. Even if your vehicle is running perfectly fine do not ignore warning lights. If the check engine light is illuminated it means an error code has been stored in the vehicle’s computer. That error code gives your mechanic a starting point to perform a repair. Other lights warn of faults in ABS or traction control systems. Or, they may indicate a low fluid level somewhere critical like brakes, coolant, or engine oil. Regardless, never ignore vehicle warning lights.
- Run your fuel tank dry. Your car’s fuel pump is likely located inside the fuel tank. That pump is cooled and lubricated by the fuel it pumps to the injectors. Running the tank completely dry can cause the pump to overheat and fail prematurely. Filling up before the fuel light comes on is good insurance to protect the fuel pump.
- Put off recommended maintenance. The fluids that lubricate and cool your vehicle do not last forever. Engine oil should be changed according to manufacturer specs or the vehicle reminder. For many modern cars, that means an oil change every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Engine coolant may last 50,000 to 100,000 miles but does eventually wear out. Transmission fluid also should be examined every 15,000 miles or so and changed periodically. Other fluids actuate hydraulic systems in your vehicle such as brake, clutch, and power steering fluid. These fluids are often subjected to very high temperatures and also need to be checked regularly and changed according to the manufacturer recommendations.
- Never change the air filter. The engine air filter under your hood ensures only clean air flows into the engine. It eventually becomes clogged especially if you drive in a dusty area. A clogged air filter means less air flow, less horsepower, and reduced fuel economy. Change the air filter every 15,000 to 25,000 miles or as recommend in the owners manual.
- Buy lousy auto insurance. Yes, we know this one is not exactly the same as vehicle maintenance tips, but life is simply too short to worry about whether you have lousy auto insurance. Buy a policy from a reputable auto insurance company and a trusted local agent. Make sure you have adequate limits of liability and deductibles you can afford. Ask about discounts you qualify for. Then, drive safely and avoid traffic citations to keep your rates low.
Lastly, contact the professional team at Safeguard Insurance for no-obligation quotes on auto, home, renters, and all other types of personal insurance. We’ve been in business for over 20 years and work with many quality insurance providers such as Nationwide, Acuity, Safeco, Travelers, Progressive, MetLife, Hartford, CSE, Encompass, and Chubb.