Wednesday, December 16, 2015

6 Ways You Are Prematurely Killing Your Car without Realizing

2013 Dodge Journey. Image courtesy of Dodge.
For most people, a car is their second biggest investment. It is a reliable form of transportation that takes them anywhere they want. And yet, many treat their car as any other regular appliance. Sure, the elements can be tough on your car, but your bad habits might be making things worse than bad weather.

Not caring about your car until something is wrong is an awful habit. Since the cost of replacing certain parts can be extremely expensive, it is important to keep your car alive as long as possible, so you don’t end up back at the dealership. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you will be able to tell when something is wrong with your car. Sometimes, problems can go unnoticed, and coupled with bad maintenance and usage practices, you might be on the verge of prematurely killing your car.

Here are six ways you are hurting your car without realizing.

1.      You Never Check or Change Your Car’s Oil

According to AutoMD, cited by, one of the most common and most costly problems car owners face is related to oil. Although car engines today don’t burn oils as they used to, a lot of issues can still arise. By simply checking the oil level every couple of weeks, you will be able to catch most problems on time.

Oil level isn’t the only problem that is prematurely killing your car. As the old oil passes through your engine, it can have a huge impact on is integrity. If you don’t change your car’s oil regularly, your engine will wear out, and your vehicle will suffer.

2.       You Don’t Change Your Car’s Air Filter

Another common problem that can affect your car is neglecting to change your car’s air filter. Just like a person, a car needs to breathe to survive.

The air filter is your car’s respiratory system. If not enough clean air passes through, the performance will drop significantly. Since bad news loves company, guess what else will suffer damages if the airflow is restricted? The heart of the car itself, the engine, which will overheat and cost you a lot of money.

3.      You Don’t Change Your Car’s Fluids

Cars need proper maintenance to run smoothly. Neglecting to change the steering fluid, coolant or transmission fluid is a surefire way to get your car sick. Anyone can lift a hood and check the fluid levels, so you don’t have to schedule an appointment with a mechanic every other week. Doing this on a regular basis will keep your car running well and your maintenance costs down.

Consider adding a transmission oil filter and a bypass engine. They screen the fluid to 3 microns, and they do that using a small amount of oil. Also, a coolant filter prevents overheated parts, so do your car and yourself a favor and invest a bit in this.

Image courtesy of Lotus. 
4.      How About the Brake Pads?

If every time you hit the brakes, you hear a screeching noise, then that’s your car telling that it’s time to change your disc-brake pads. The pads that stay between the rotor and the metal caliper wear down at some point because of the friction. Neglecting to change the pads will not only affect the effectiveness of the brakes, but it will also damage the rotor. As a rule of thumb, you should change the brake pads every 20,000-25,000 miles.

5.      Your Shock Absorbers Are Shockingly Worn

Well, not so shockingly, but since they perform a lot of duties of great importance to your car’s suspension, handles and rides, you should expect them to wear fast. They basically “decide” how your car takes the corners regarding comfort and handling, and they’re the difference between comfort and discomfort when it comes to potholes and bumps. Your car suspension elements will wear extremely fast, especially if you live in a place with a cold climate.

Image courtesy of Chevrolet.
6.      Let Your Car Warm Up

Cold oil won’t get your car very far. You don’t go out in the cold immediately after you wake up, or do you? The same scenario applies to your car.

You just fire your engine. Let it purr for a while and warm up before going about your day to day business.

As you can see from this list, a large part of your car’s maintenance is preventative. Checking your car on a regular basis and going for scheduling regular professional check-ups is the perfect way to make sure that your car stays healthy.

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