Skip These Car Maintenance Tasks and It’ll Cost You

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated June 12, 2018

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June 12, 2018

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

When it comes to car maintenance, certain tasks aren’t as critical and you can let them slide for a while. For instance, you may not need to replace your windshield wipers every six months. Other maintenance tasks, however, are essential. If you skip them, you’ll pay big bucks in the long run.

Oil lubricates the moving parts inside your engine. Without oil, those parts could get so hot that they melt. One moment, you’re driving down the road. The next, you’re stuck because a part of your car’s engine has literally melted.

Oil also helps protect your engine from dirt and debris that can cause excess friction.

Get your vehicle’s oil changed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself buying a new engine or even a new car. Select car insurance that comes with roadside assistance for further peace of mind.

Your vehicle’s engine can only generate power when it has access to oxygen. Without oxygen, your car won’t move.

Since manufacturers don’t want contaminants like pollen, dead bugs and dirt getting into engines, they install filters that remove those and other items. Over time, the filter will collect so much grime that air can’t pass through it anymore.

Once your car has a clogged filter, your engine won’t get enough oxygen to function correctly. You’ll notice that the car burns a lot more fuel than it used to. You might also notice that your engine temperature skyrockets when you drive at high speeds.

Check your car’s air filter every few months to make sure it has not become clogged. How often you need to replace the filter depends on the amount of pollution, dust and dirt in the air.

Consumers say that safety features are important to them. Unfortunately, many of them don’t understand how crucial their tires are. When a tire’s tread becomes too thin, it can’t grip the road when you want to stop suddenly. The extra distance your car travels on worn tires could cause an accident, and you could be on the hook for repairs.

Old tires will also harm your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. The extra money you spend at the pump adds up quickly.

Keep your tires in good condition by:

  • Replacing them when the tread gets worn.
  • Checking the pressure.
  • Having them rotated to prevent uneven wear.

Owning a car comes with a lot of responsibilities. Like many of life’s responsibilities, you can put some of them off for a while. Others need immediate attention. If you don’t address these car maintenance tips on time, you’ll spend a lot of money on replacement parts and fuel, and you might even put your car at greater risk of accidents, which could affect your car insurance premiums, too.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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