Five Costly Mistakes Of Car Ownership
Cars are expensive and complex machines that need to be maintained properly so that they don't break down prematurely. If a modern car is treated with care, it can last for over 200,000 miles without needing major costly repairs. However, neglecting you car's maintenance needs can leave you with a large bill that could have been avoided.
Here are five commonly-made mistakes to avoid. Doing so will save you loads of money and ensure that your car has a long, healthy and happy life.
Stan Markuze is the founder of PartMyRide, the online marketplace for used auto parts.
1. Putting Off An Oil Change
While oil technology has improved drastically over the past couple of decades, it's still important to change your oil as recommended by your car's manufacturer.
Motor oil gradually breaks down as it is circulated through your engine. After a certain number of miles, the oil doesn't provide adequate lubrication, causing your engine to wear out prematurely. A new or rebuilt engine can cost you thousands of dollars.
2. Changing Tires Without An AlignmentAn alignment ensures that the wheels of your car are positioned properly on the road. When a car is out of alignment, the tires wear out prematurely or in places where they're not supposed to wear.
When you change your tires, always opt for the $75 alignment. Otherwise you could find yourself spending hundreds on a new set of tires.
3. Installing Oversized Aftermarket WheelsWhile some aftermarket wheels are carefully designed to be compatible with certain vehicles, getting the wrong wheels can harm your vehicle's suspension and ride comfort. Also, if you buy wheels that are too large for your car, you can damage your fenders and wheel wells. Replacing a damaged suspension can cost thousands, and body work can be even more expensive.
4. Buying A Cheap BatteryA dead battery is a huge hassle. Often times, it means waiting for a jump start and then having to spend $100 for a replacement. There are many batteries available at your local parts retailer, and it's important to find the exact match for your car. Springing for an inexpensive substitute can damage your car's electrical system, requiring extensive repairs that won't be cheap.
5. Getting Cheap Body WorkIf you have a dent on your car, sometimes you can be approached by a "professional" in a shopping mall parking lot, or a friend might offer to take care of the problem. Beware, because sloppy body repair can cost more to correct than the original damage. A dent that can be repaired for $100 by a professional dent repair expert might cost $500 to fix once an amateur has damaged paint and deformed the metal panel.