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Avoid These Maintenance Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Car

Proper car maintenance is crucial to ensure your vehicle runs smoothly and remains in good condition. Neglecting routine maintenance or making mistakes along the way can lead to expensive repairs down the road. In this article, we’ll highlight ten common car maintenance mistakes that can end up costing you a significant amount of money.

Skipping Oil Changes

Male hand filling car power steering fluid
Image Credit: SURAKIT SAWANGCHIT/Shutterstock.

Regular oil changes are essential to keep your engine well-lubricated and prevent premature wear and tear. Skipping oil changes or using the wrong type of oil can lead to engine damage and costly repairs.

Neglecting Tire Maintenance

Flat Tire Replacing Closeup Photo. New Tire For the Modern Vehicle.
Image Credit: Virrage Images/Shutterstock.

Underinflated or overinflated tires can affect your car’s fuel efficiency, handling, and tire lifespan. Failing to rotate your tires regularly can lead to uneven wear and the need for premature replacements.

Ignoring the Check Engine Light

Many different car dashboard lights with warning lamps illuminated.
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When your vehicle’s check engine light illuminates, it’s a sign that something is amiss. Ignoring this warning can result in more extensive and costly issues over time, as the underlying problem may worsen.

Neglecting Brake Inspections

cropped view of mechanic holding brake pad near assembled disc brakes
Image Credit: LightField Studios/Shutterstock.

Brakes are a critical safety component, and failing to inspect and maintain them can lead to brake system failure. Replacing brake pads and rotors is far less expensive than repairing an entire braking system.

Using Incorrect Fluids

Refueling and pouring oil quality into the engine motor car Transmission and Maintenance Gear .Energy fuel concept.
Image Credit: Me dia/Shutterstock.

Using the wrong type of fluids, such as coolant or transmission fluid, can cause damage to your vehicle’s systems. Always consult your owner’s manual and use the recommended fluids to avoid costly repairs.

Overlooking Timing Belt Replacement

Timing belt is broken in the old car.
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Timing belts have a limited lifespan, and if they fail, it can result in catastrophic engine damage. Replacing the timing belt at the recommended intervals is far more economical than replacing an engine.

Neglecting Battery Maintenance

Man throwing old empty car battery in garbage disposal with recycling symbol
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A dead battery can leave you stranded and in need of a costly replacement. Regularly checking your battery’s health and terminals can help prevent unexpected failures.

Skipping Air Filter Replacement

Car air filter with new and old placed on car chassis in engine room of a car
Image Credit: BLKstudio/Shutterstock.

A clogged air filter restricts airflow to the engine, reducing performance and fuel efficiency. Replacing the air filter as needed is an inexpensive way to maintain engine health.

Neglecting Wheel Alignment

Finger pointing to damage on tire tread. Tire tread problems by tire pressure improper, Wheel alignment
Image Credit: Smile Fight/Shutterstock.

Driving with misaligned wheels can lead to uneven tire wear and poor handling. Regular wheel alignments can extend tire life and prevent costly replacements.

Using Poor-Quality Parts

Portrait of an Asian mechanic checking the safety of a car. Maintenance of damaged parts in the garage. Maintenance repairs. Repair service concept.
Image Credit: KANGWANS/Shutterstock.

Opting for cheap, low-quality replacement parts may save you money initially, but they often wear out faster and can lead to more significant repairs in the long run. Investing in quality parts is a smarter choice.

Author: Madison Cates

Title: Managing Editor


Research journalist, Freelance writer, Managing editor

  • Expertise: automotive content, trending topics.
  • Education: LeTourneau University, Bachelors of Science in Business Administration.
  • Over 400 articles and short news pieces published across the web.

Experience: Madison Cates is a journalist located in the great state of Texas. She began writing over eight years ago. Her first major research piece was published by the Journal of Business and Economics in 2018. After growing up in a household of eight brothers and a dad who was always restoring old Camaros, she naturally pivoted her freelance career into the automotive industry. There, she found her passion. Her experience paved the way for her to work with multiple large corporations in automotive news and trending topics. Now, she now finds her home at Wealth of Geeks where she proudly serves as Managing Editor of Autos. Madison is always down to geek out over the latest beautiful cars on the market, and she enjoys providing her readers with tips to make car ownership easier and more enjoyable.

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