Your car is one of the most expensive possessions you’ll ever own. That said, it’s important that you’re not only taking proper care of it to help it last as long as possible but it’s also important that you’re driving it safely.
From neglecting maintenance to driving drowsy, there are many common mistakes drivers make that can impact not only their bank account but also their wellbeing. Here are a few common mistakes you may be making with your car that could cost you more than just money.
- Driving drowsy. It’s all too easy to stay up too late at night, get up early for work, and then rely on coffee to get you through the day. But driving drowsy can actually be just as bad as driving drunk. From falling asleep at the wheel to slowed reaction time, drowsy driving is incredibly dangerous and puts you at an increased risk for car accidents and even death. That said, while you could convert your car to an armored vehicle for $100,000 to reduce your car accident risk, focus on going to bed at a set time so you can get enough sleep.
- Not changing your oil when you need to. Cars and truck engines may be the world’s biggest consumers of lubricants using 20 million tons per year. But you’d be surprised by just how many people forget to change their oil when they need to. Experts recommend changing your oil once every six months or every 7,500 miles, whichever comes first. When you don’t change your oil, you run the risk of damaging your engine and causing your car to break down on the side of the road. An oil change is a lot cheaper than a new engine and a tow.
- Not hiring a professional to fix your car. When you have an issue with your vehicle, it’s important to have it checked out and repaired. Unfortunately, many drivers try to save money by having their cars inspected by family friends who may have a vague idea about cars. By just like how 95% of job applicants falsify information on their resumes, so can your friend stretch the truth about their own skills with cars. Take hail damage, for instance. While you might live in an area that doesn’t have to deal with a lot of hail, it causes $22 billion worth of damage to homes, cars, crops, people, and more in the United States. Using DIY methods or cheap tools may end up harming your car more than repairing it. To avoid a botched repair job, bring your vehicle in to see a professional mechanic.
- Waiting until the last minute to make repairs. Not everyone can afford to have their cars repaired right away. In fact, three out of every four vehicles on the road today need some type of maintenance. But it’s one thing to need a repair on one of your car’s polyurethane parts, which are made using Reaction Injection Molding (RIM), like your bumper, and another to need a new engine or brakes. The longer you wait to make these important repairs, the more damage you’ll do to the rest of your vehicle.
Everyone makes mistakes, but when it comes to your vehicle, you want to make as few of them as possible. By following the tips above, you keep your car in good shape and reduce your risk of getting into an accident that could permanently injure you.