Here are the 10 biggest mistakes you can make with your car:

  1. Not changing your oil regularly. Oil is the lifeblood of your car’s engine, and it needs to be changed regularly to keep it running smoothly and prevent costly repairs down the road. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended oil change interval for your car.
  2. Ignoring warning lights. When a warning light comes on on your dashboard, it’s telling you that something is wrong with your car. Don’t ignore it! Take your car to a mechanic to have it diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible.
  3. Driving with low tire pressure. Underinflated tires can reduce fuel efficiency, increase wear and tear, and make it more difficult to control your car. Check your tire pressure regularly and make sure it’s at the recommended level.
  4. Not rotating your tires. Rotating your tires helps them wear evenly and last longer. Have your tires rotated every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.
  5. Not keeping up with routine maintenance. In addition to oil changes and tire rotations, your car needs other routine maintenance tasks performed, such as brake inspections, fluid flushes, and filter replacements. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended maintenance schedule for your car.
  6. Driving aggressively. Aggressive driving habits, such as speeding, braking hard, and accelerating quickly, can put unnecessary wear and tear on your car and reduce its lifespan. Drive smoothly and safely to help your car last longer.
  7. Not warming up your car in cold weather. When it’s cold outside, it’s important to let your car warm up for a few minutes before driving it. This gives the oil a chance to circulate and lubricate the engine.
  8. Overloading your car. Overloading your car can put stress on the engine and suspension, and it can also make it more difficult to control. Be sure to obey the weight capacity limit for your car.
  9. Not using the right fuel. Using the wrong type of fuel can damage your car’s engine. Make sure to use the type of fuel that is recommended for your car.
  10. Not washing your car regularly. Washing your car regularly helps remove dirt, salt, and other contaminants that can damage the paint and finish. It’s also a good way to spot any potential problems with your car early on.
  • Not using the right brake fluid. Brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture from the air over time. This can reduce the boiling point of the brake fluid, making it less effective at stopping your car. Be sure to use the type of brake fluid that is recommended for your car and to flush the brake fluid regularly according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Not replacing your air filter regularly. A dirty air filter can restrict airflow to the engine, which can reduce fuel efficiency and increase emissions. Replace your air filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or sooner if you drive in dusty or dirty conditions.
  • Not replacing your spark plugs regularly. Spark plugs ignite the air-fuel mixture in the engine, so they are essential for proper engine performance. Worn spark plugs can cause misfires, which can lead to poor fuel economy, increased emissions, and engine damage. Replace your spark plugs every 30,000 to 35,000 miles, or sooner if your car has a high performance engine.
  • Not replacing your serpentine belt regularly. The serpentine belt drives many of the engine’s accessories, such as the alternator, power steering pump, and water pump. A worn serpentine belt can cause these accessories to fail, which can lead to costly repairs. Replace your serpentine belt every 50,000 to 75,000 miles, or sooner if it shows signs of wear and tear.
  • Not replacing your transmission fluid regularly. Transmission fluid lubricates and protects the transmission, which is essential for smooth shifting and long transmission life. Old transmission fluid can become contaminated and break down, which can lead to transmission problems. Replace your transmission fluid every 30,000 to 50,000 miles, or sooner if you tow or drive in stop-and-go traffic frequently.
Car Mistakes to Avoid

By avoiding these car maintenance mistakes, you can help keep your car running smoothly and extend its lifespan even further.

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