Maintenance Mistakes That Reduce Your Vehicle's Lifespan
We would love it if our cars could last forever. Unfortunately, we don’t live in that perfect world. The most we can do is try to keep our cars in the best condition possible, so they last a long time. If you’re a car enthusiast, you probably already know some of the best habits for keeping your car in tip-top shape. However, for newer enthusiasts or those who don’t give their vehicles much thought, there could be a lot of things decreasing your car’s longevity that you’re simply unaware of.
To help make sure that your car keeps going for a long time coming, we’ve compiled some of the most common maintenance mistakes that reduce your vehicle’s lifespan. You may not even realize you’ve made some of these mistakes on a regular basis, but we hope to help you identify and rectify them so your car has a long life.
Not Cleaning Enough
A lot of people are under the assumption that the exterior of their car doesn’t affect the interior components in any meaningful way. One of the most important reasons to keep your car clean is so you can identify any damage to the exterior of your car before it causes a bigger problem. A bigger cause for concern is when dirt, grime, and mud get stuck to the sides and undersides of your vehicle. This can slowly wear down parts of your vehicle, so regular washing is an important element of car ownership.
Avoiding Regular Maintenance
Getting your car worked on isn’t the most exciting moment of your day, but it’s crucial to your car’s long-term health. Going to see a mechanic at least once or twice a year for a check up is the minimum amount of maintenance you need to do. The longer you put this off, the more problems can multiply and exacerbate themselves. If you want to avoid paying enormous sums just to get your car working, regular maintenance is an absolute must.
Making Assumptions About Levels
Some of the worst maintenance mistakes that reduce your vehicle’s lifespan involve making assumptions about different parts of your car. One area you don’t want to make assumptions about is regarding the different fluid levels your car has. Brake fluid, power steering fluid, oil levels—regularly checking these levels is one thing you can’t afford to skip. Even if everything works fine, don’t assume that your levels are perfect. Checking them every couple of weeks or so is the right amount of time to make sure there aren’t any leaks or fluid issues.
The way you drive your car has a profound impact on how long it will last you. Though vehicles in general seem like they can take a beating, you can help extend the life of your car by being gentle with the way that you drive. Having a lead foot—stopping or accelerating very suddenly—is just one of the ways your driving can quickly wear out your car. Not only is this method of driving dangerous and reckless, but it also puts undue amounts of stress on your brakes and engine, thus slowly breaking down these components.
Not Driving Enough
While driving recklessly is one way to ruin your car, so too is not driving your car enough. There are a few reasons why letting your car sit unused is a bad idea:
- The battery goes unused, slowly draining and eventually killing it.
- The tires can become warped and misshapen if left in the same position for too long.
- Having stale gasoline sit in the tank is bad for the gas tank and the engine when you turn it back on.
Even if you don’t drive very often, you should still regularly go for a drive to burn off some gas, redistribute the air in your tires, and allow the battery to work again. If you must store your vehicle for a while, keep it somewhere indoors and away from as many outside elements as possible.
Ignoring Warning Lights
No one wants to admit that their car needs servicing, especially when those dashboard lights come on. Surely those lights will go away on their own, right? Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Those lights come on for a reason and listening to them is always a good idea. If the check engine light comes on, there are a ton of possible issues that could have caused it. Unless you are an expert yourself, this would be a good time to take your car in for servicing. Ignoring these lights means that you’re driving your car while something is actively wrong with it, which can lead to larger issues later on.
Once you know something is wrong, you should get the problem fixed as soon as possible. One common mistake that a lot of people make when hearing strange noises from their brakes or engine is not finding and fixing the problem right away. If you can feel or hear that something isn’t right in your car, you best option is to fix it rather than leave it alone. Delaying these sorts of repairs will only cause them to grow in size and possibly lead to other issues, compromising your safety on the road.
Using the Wrong Gas
This mistake is common when people don’t understand the kind of car they have or the kind of engine they deal with on a day-to-day basis. Your average, run-of-the-mill vehicle probably doesn’t need premium gas in order for it to have a full lifespan. However, if you know your engine needs premium fuel and you opt not to fill up with that, you’re decreasing the longevity of your vehicle in the process. You’ll be able to notice a difference as you drive, and it will eventually start to wear down your engine’s interior components.
We here at American Modified want your car to last you as long as possible. That’s why we provide the upgrades that can make it even better. Whether you need Jeep, Ford, or Honda aftermarket parts and accessories, we deliver the parts to keep your car running the way you expect it to run.