Unless you are someone that lives in a town that is small enough to get around in on a bike, then you probably rely on your car to get from place to place. Sure, some big cities have an okay transit system, but that usually means scrabbling to find the correct change for a ticket or looking over your shoulder to be sure that the guy who is eyeing you up isn’t going to make a play for your wallet. The reality is that your car is perhaps the most important member of the family, but it’s also one that will go for your wallet as quickly as a transit thug when stuff goes wrong.
The vast majority of car problems can be easily avoided if you just take the time to have it regularly serviced. The sad fact is that servicing seems to fall by the wayside just like many of the other tasks that we simply can’t fit into our busy schedules. It’s not until you get that final bill from the auto shop that you realize that maintaining your car is one of those items that really has to land on your to-do list on a regular basis. If you do get hammered with car problems and want to save some money on the items that you need, then you really have to take advantage of the Street Side Auto coupon codes that can end up saving you a bundle. If you don’t want to wait until your beloved car gives up the ghost, then take a look at the 10 things that are most likely to need your attention.
1. Oil change – The engine of your car needs juice to run, and by that I don’t just mean gas. Oil is perhaps the most important element of your vehicle and if you don’t make sure that it gets changes regularly, then major components within the engine will start to fall apart. Forgetting to regularly go for a $30 oil change can end up leaving you with an engine problem that could potentially run into the thousands.
2. Check for Oil Leaks – Let’s imagine for a moment that you are on the ball and get your oil changed when you are supposed to, but are still experiencing issues. You might think that something else is wrong with your car without ever noticing that black stain on your driveway. Oil leaks are incredibly common in cars, so get in the habit of checking the space where your car was parked before rushing off.
3. Brake Maintenance – The first time that you press down on your brakes and hear a squeak or squeal is the exact moment that you should get them checked. Brake problems are more common than you might imagine and it’s the one mechanical failure that you might not be able to walk away from.
4. Tire Tread – How many times have you driven down the highway and seen pieces of shredded rubber littering the side of the road? That’s what tends to happen when a tire blows out at high speed and if you don’t take the time to make sure that the tread on your tires is good, then it could happen to you. It’s not always just a case of bald tires causing problems, with potholes and debris in the road also contributing to the damage.
5. Replace your Car Battery – With a little bit of TLC you might just find that your car will last for decades, but just don’t expect it to happen on the same battery. The average car battery is usually good for about 5 years, so while it may not need the same level of maintenance as other parts of your vehicle, make sure that you get it tested as part of your regular service schedule.
6. Ignition System – It’s somewhat automatic to assume that when you turn the key and the car doesn’t start that your battery has finally run out of juice. That may not always be the case though, and if it still won’t start after you replace the battery, then it could be the ignition system. Given the cost of repair and replacement, you’d better hope that it’s nothing more than a battery issue.
7. Change Antifreeze – We spoke earlier about watching for patches of oil under your car when you leave, but that’s not the only thing you should be keeping an eye out for. There are all kinds of different fluids that run through your engine and any one of them springing a leak could lead to major issues. Antifreeze is one that will commonly leak out and should also be flushed and replaced every few years so that it continues to work the way it is supposed to.
8. Check Air Conditioning – If you live in an area that is hot and has sticky, humid summers, then you probably rely on your air conditioning more than most. This is another area of your car that might need attention at some point during the life of your car, usually caused by leaks in the system. It’s a complicated process to repair it and is definitely something that should be left to a qualified technician. Check your Freon regularly to make sure you have air conditioning when you need it.
9. Keep a Full Tank of Gas – If you had to take a poll of people who just had their car fixed and asked them what the problem was, one of the answers that you are likely to hear is the fuel pump. It’s the curse of drivers who run their car on half a tank or less and who have done so for more than 50,000 miles at a time. While it may be one of the more common car problems, it definitely not one of the cheapest to repair, and if you take a look at the average repair cost, you’ll see that it’s worth keeping the tank full as often as possible.
10. Faulty Transmission – Most of the above repairs come with a repair bill that is somewhat manageable, but the same cannot be said for a faulty transmission. Bad transmissions can be avoided by paying attention early to signs such as noises from the gearbox, checking for leaks, and regularly changing your transmission fluid. Typically when your transmission goes bad it can be so expensive to repair that you may need to just a new one.