True car enthusiasts pride themselves on their knowledge of cars and their ability to look after them. Some follow advice from motorising experts such as Pure Performance Motorsport to keep their vehicles ticking over and running well. Others rely on instinct and do what they think is the right thing. Sadly, this often leads to problems that can be expensive and frustrating. Here are five of the most common car maintenance mistakes made by amateur enthusiasts.
It’s not just the oil
Most car drivers know to check and change the oil, even if some don’t know exactly how to do it. But they often forget there are other things under the bonnet that should be monitored on a regular basis for economical and trouble-free motoring. When you’re checking the oil, take the time to also check the levels of the radiator coolant, power steering, transmission fluid and windscreen washer levels.
Keeping oil past its used by date
While we are talking about oils, there is little point religiously checking the level if the oil has become so dark and dirty it no longer has any real positive effect. Some people seem to think the oil doesn’t need changing if the level remains steady or if fresh oil is added every few months. Wrong. Oil needs to be replaced after extensive use if it is to remain effective.
Oil isn’t necessarily oil
Here’s the final lesson on oil. Not all lubricant is the same. Different engines require oils of different viscosity. Using the wrong oil in your motor can lead to excess wear and in extreme cases engine failure. The oil that best suits your vehicle will be listed in the owner’s manual. Read it, and follow it.
Watch those tyres
Your tyres are vital to your safety and are quite expensive to replace when they wear beyond legal levels. Look after your tyres and they will look after you. The best and most obvious way to do this is to ensure they are properly inflated by checking the pressure in them at least once a month. Don’t guess. The correct pressure for your car and tyres will be shown on the sticker on the driver’s door jam. If you have replaced the tyres, confirm the new pressure level with the fitter.
According to motor mechanics, the most common maintenance mistake is made by people who think they know it all. They’re talking about do-it-yourselfers who avoid taking their cars to mechanics at all costs. The ability, and desire, to look after your own car is admirable, but the time will always come when professional advice cannot be avoided. If you have a mechanical issue and can’t or don’t know how to fix it, see a mechanic. Avoiding every trip to the service centre will only compound the problem and cost you more in the long run.
It’s important to look after your car but make sure you know what to do and how to do it. Embrace the advice in the owner’s manual and, if you still aren’t sure, seek the advice of professionals. It will be well worth it in the end. For more tips and information, check out Pure Performance Motorsport on Ebay, as well as their facebook page.