Worst maintenance mistakes made by car owners

Friday, January 25, 2013

Most car owners know that caring for their vehicle is not only essential to keeping themselves and passengers safe behind the wheel, but it is always cheaper in the long run to periodically maintain a vehicle than having to do repairs later on. 

CarMD.com and its Auto Service Excellence-certified Master Technicians, which have more than 840 years of experience working on cars, recently released their list of the top 10 maintenance mistakes cars owners make. The No. 1 mistake owners make is putting off recommended or scheduled maintenance. 

The mistakes continue in the order they appear on the list including, ignoring the "check engine" light, not changing the oil, or not having it changed on time, not checking tire pressure, neglecting coolant, brake, transmission and other fluid services. Other issues included continuing to drive when the vehicle is overheating, not changing fuel and air filters, having unqualified shops service your vehicle, using generic aftermarket parts instead of original equipment manufacturer-quality parts and trying to service your own high-tech vehicle.

In addition to making sure they do not make the above mistakes, auto owners are also encouraged to install Husky Liners® mud guards to provide extra protection to the exterior of their car. 

"When consumers fail to properly maintain their vehicles, the resulting repair costs dwarf the money that could have been budgeted to maintain their car," said Art Jacobsen, vice president, CarMD.com Corporation. "As a result, CarMD reached out to our ASE-certified Master Tech committee to confirm the top 10 most damaging mistakes drivers make. We believe this information will help consumers save money in the long run and plan better as they care for what is often their second largest purchase."

Teens aloof with car maintenance

A survey by AutoMD.com showed that teenagers are more more likely to put off car maintenance. the survey indicated the 66 percent of parents rated their teens' car knowledge as "somewhat or complete clueless" or "average."

"Now is the perfect time to remind teens and their parents that driving and owning a vehicle is a big responsibility, and vehicle maintenance is a critical part of that responsibility," said Brian Hafer, vice president of marketing for AutoMD.com. "Our teen driver guide is designed to provide teens with basic information to start them on the road to a lifetime of responsible vehicle ownership."

AutoMD suggests that teens, and all car owners for that matter, should become familiar with their vehicle manual to know how to properly care for their car.