If you enjoy murder mysteries, here’s one for you. Who is killing your car?
And now the surprise ending – the murderer may be you.
Unfortunately, even the best car owners can get lax in maintaining their vehicle. It’s very easy to take any vehicle for granted and forget all of the little things we need to do, to keep our cars running well. So, no worries. But if you want to take better care of your car, here are several ways that perfectly well-intentioned people end up hurting their vehicles.
Putting off repairs. Nobody wants to hear that they need to replace and alternator or fix a coolant leak, and it’s true that car problems often come at financially inconvenient times, but delaying something in your car that needs fixing could later put you in a real fix. For instance, your car can’t start without an operating alternator, and if your alternator dies, that sometimes will kill off a perfectly good car battery – which means you would have to replace the alternator and the car battery.
Proper coolant, meanwhile, is so important that a leak that isn’t fixed could lead to eventually having to replace your entire car.
In other words, if your Milex Complete Auto Care mechanic advises you to do a car repair, it’s best to do it as soon as you’re able. Better to spend some money now than pay for it dearly later.
Not regularly changing oil. Some of you will read this and think getting your oil changed regularly is the most obvious advice in the world. But some of you probably can’t remember the last time you had your oil changed. And if you do think it’s been a ridiculously long time since you’ve had your oil changed, please, run for your car and get your vehicle to Milex Complete Auto Care – and if not us, well, somewhere that can give you an oil change, because we do care, and we don’t want you to lose your car.
Once your oil runs out, all of the metal components in the engine are pressing against each other, with no lubrication. This isn’t just bad – if you have no oil in your car, there’s an excellent chance your car may end up on the side of the road, smoking pouring out of the hood, with your engine destroyed.
Not paying attention to your car’s maintenance schedule. Many car parts wear out. Especially if you want to make your car last, you need to get some of its parts replaced, and your owner’s manual will tell you when to replace them, items like your timing belt and your serpentine belt. If you aren’t on top of that, the good news is that if you’re getting your oil changed regularly, your Milex Complete Auto Care mechanics are taking a look at your engine and advising you when an air filter or spark plugs or that serpentine belt needs replacing. But, still, if you really want to protect your car, you’ll follow the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. And while you may end up at Milex Complete Auto Care a little more than you have been, at least the visits will be planning and on purpose – rather than visiting in the cab of a tow truck that’s bringing your vehicle in to be looked at.
Driving over potholes. OK, you probably are well aware that running over a pothole can damage your car. Sometimes, you have no choice but to run over one, or many of them – it’s either run over a pothole or swerve and miss it but hit a few passing cars. But how many of us have driven over potholes simply because our mind was wandering? Or maybe some of us have seen potholes with enough time to safely swerve away from them but then thought, “Well, it doesn’t look that bad,” or, “Well, I’ve driven over this pothole before without any major problems,” and so we didn’t try to dodge them? Eventually, a pothole may end up costing us big-time. Two years ago, the American Automobile Association concluded that pothole damage costs American drivers about $3 billion a year. And what’s your cut of that? The average repair for pothole damage repairs is $306.
Fortunately, according to the data out there, it’s most likely that you’ll just hurt a tire and not your actual car – but the damage from a pothole could go beyond tires. Your car suspension could be affected, where your vehicle suffers broken ball joints, damaged shocks or struts or misalignment. Your car’s body could be banged up; you might ding your exhaust pipes. As you can imagine, none of this is good for your car.
Seriously, if you don’t put off repairs, get your oil changed regularly, pay attention to your car’s maintenance schedule and practice good driving habits like avoiding potholes when you can, your car will someday likely become the vehicle’s version of an active senior citizen, aging but with plenty of life left in it. And as the saying goes, you’ll be killing it. Instead of killing your car.