July 12, 2019

Three Common Mistakes Car Owners Make


When thinking about their experience with cars, many people like to believe they are a good driver.  You make sure to drive safe, keep your eyes on the road and avoid distractions.  But are you a good car owner? That is, do you take good care of your car?

It’s a worthwhile question because one of the most unpleasant feelings in the world can to be finding yourself on the side of a road with your car unable to drive and realizing you’re going to have to call a tow truck.

Suddenly, all of your plans have come to a halt because your car has come to a halt.

Here is a quick rundown of some of the most common mistakes that car owners make.

Not inflating your tires properly. You’re probably aware of this, but we’ll mention it because June was recently Tire Safety Month and according to AAA, one of the top three reasons people have serious car breakdowns that result in a tow is due to tire damage. You can find the proper tire pressure information for your car on the sticker in the driver’s side door jamb or in your owner’s manual. One place which you shouldn’t take the information is from your tire’s sidewall. What the car manufacturer and tire manufacturer states is sometimes different, and you always want to listen to the car manufacturer.

Putting the wrong fuel in your car. It’s an easy mistake to make, if you’re not paying attention. More filling stations now have additional pumps and they can sometimes be in a different order than you might be used to (maybe unleaded is on the left at one station and on the right-hand side at another). If you accidently make the mistake of putting diesel fuel into a gas engine, or vice versa, your safest move is to not start the car and instead call a tow truck and have them bring it over to Milex Complete Auto Care. Why? You’ll likely want your mechanics to drain the fuel tank, so you can refill it with the correct fuel.

It’s often not as serious to put diesel in a gas engine (still not a great idea, though and your car will eventually stop running), but if you put gas into a diesel engine, you could see your injection pump fail, the injectors and you might see the entire engine go south.

Forgetting to get an oil change. We’ve harped on this a lot in this blog, but it is a terrible mistake. If you’re always doing regular oil changes, it’s probably not a big deal if you fall a month or so behind schedule. However, if you are several months overdue for an oil change, you are playing a risky game with your car.

All cars and their engines and their situations are different, so it’s impossible to say how long you can delay an oil change. But what is clear is that if you keep putting off an oil change, eventually, you will hurt your car.

That’s because eventually, old oil can turn to sludge, which doesn’t travel well throughout the engine. You need oil to flow between moving metal parts. If your car had no oil, and you drove it, it would probably have about 15 minutes of life until the engine died.

So your car needs oil, but sludgy oil, while better than nothing, isn’t good.  If you drive around with sludge in your engine, there’s a good chance you’ll wind up on the side of the road.  But that doesn’t have to be your fate. Avoid these common mistakes and that is a way to become a good car owner.

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