Top Auto Repair Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

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With today’s economy, people are holding onto their cars longer than they did in the past. To keep your car in good mechanical condition, you’ll want to be sure you avoid these commonly neglected auto repairs.

1.) Neglecting to change oil and filters and other simple maintenance – Your oil is what keeps the parts in your engine from wearing themselves out. Your oil filter cleans the oil. Your engine’s air filter cleans outside air before it enters the engine. Your cabin air filter cleans outside air before it enters your air conditioning system, and the cabin (interior) of your car. Over time, your oil breaks down, and the filters get clogged, dirty, and eventually start to break down too. If you’re not sure how often your car needs it, read how often should you change your oil! Your engine’s air filter should be changed every 15-30k miles, or when it is visibly dirty, whichever happens first.Your cabin air filter should be changed every 15k miles, or once a year, whichever happens first. All of the above are cheap, simple maintenance services that will help you avoid costly repairs later on.

2.) Neglecting your Tires – Some car owners may be driving on tires that have not been properly maintained, perhaps because they have not thought to check their tires or perhaps because they don’t have the time or money to get them checked. Being aware of your tires can save you a significant amount of money. Proper maintenance can extend the life of your tires, meaning fewer tire replacements. Plus, keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent. By contrast, driving on bald tires can lead to blowouts, expensive damage to other components of your car, or an accident.

3.) Ignoring symptoms – If your car starts making an odd noise, vibration, or something else changes, bring it in! Ignoring it can lead to much more expensive repairs. For example, if your brakes start to squeak because the pads are worn, you’ll need new brake pads and possibly machining for your brake rotors. If you ignore it, your brakes may go “metal to metal”, which is what happens when there is no more brake pad material so the backing plate grinds against your rotors instead. At this point, you’ll need new pads and rotors. In extreme cases, you may even need pads, rotors, and calipers!

4.) Driving on fumes – Modern fuel-injected engines rely on electric fuel pumps that use the gas to cool and lubricate their components. Driving your car frequently near empty can cause the fuel pump to fail prematurely. It doesn’t cost anything extra to keep your tank on “full” than it does to keep it near empty!

5.) Not comparing shops & prices – Different shops can offer different prices for the same work. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure the mechanic you choose is easy for you to talk to, and that you feel you’re being treated fairly. After all, needing auto repairs is stressful enough without having to worry about whether or not you’re getting an honest opinion.

If you’d like an estimate, please feel free to give us a call at (480) 641 – 6055