Although the new generation of cars require very little maintenance, a surprising number of vehicle owners botch up the job despite their best intentions. Often regular maintenance is either done haphazardly or half-heartedly leaving out several important components of the vehicle. These maintenance mistakes can severely impact the operation of the vehicle and end up costing the owner in professional repairs.


Not Getting the Brakes Checked and Pads Changed at Regular Intervals


This is one of the top car maintenance mistakes and it can be truly hazardous. The brakes of a vehicle are not to be ignored under any circumstances. If the vehicle comes to a stop with a high pitched squealing/scraping sound coming from the brakes, this points to worn down brakes that are scraping against the drum and rotors. Brakes constantly touching the drums and rotors can damage these components of the vehicle as well. Instead, just get the brakes checked regularly to avoid any misfortune.


Not Tightening the Gas Cap


This is a very common car maintenance mistake; few people pay any attention to the gas cap when washing or checking their vehicle. Often people are alarmed by the sudden appearance of the check engine light on the dash board. As concerned owners, they quickly drive the vehicle down to a repair shop and the diagnosis finds that there is nothing amiss with the vehicle – just a gas cap which was not tightened all the way. A loose gas cap can cause air interference with fuel intake, so check the cap diligently.


Unnecessary Tune-Up


Most new generation cars don’t have to be put through the tune up grind. The valves in these vehicles do not need adjusting since the timing of ignition is computer controlled, so the car owner no longer has to hassle with the carburetor or injectors. The spark plugs even in these modern cars still need attention. However, many warranties offer headache-free service for almost 10,000 miles, so there is truly no reason to change the spark plugs. Instead, go for a complete change which should include the timing belt, coolant and the spark plugs when the vehicle hits the 60,000 miles.


How to Avoid the Top Car Maintenance Mistakes?


Surprisingly, most top car maintenance mistakes can be easily avoided. The solution to any ambiguity that the car owner may harbor lies in the glove compartment. Simply look for the maintenance schedule which is supplied in the owner’s manual of all new vehicles. In case of a used car, the buyer will need to get one from the previous owner, purchase a Haynes manual, or get in touch with a dealership that sells the model or vehicles from the manufacturer.


The amount of maintenance that a vehicle needs will depend on how it’s used. Second cars, for example, may need much less up-keep than the primary commuter car. Continual vehicle usage that amounts to a few dozen miles each day and grimy city streets, are bound to take a toll on the engine and the filters.