Thomas Fuller once said “health is not valued till sickness comes.” We keep ourselves healthy and our body in check by eating right, exercising and getting regular check-ups from our doctor. The same goes with our cars. Preventive car maintenance keeps your car in tip-top shape and helps you avoid any unexpected costs that can come when you least expect them. If you love your car as much as you love your body, keeping a regular service schedule on your calendar is essential.
With proper care and maintenance, an old car can look and perform just as though it were fresh off the production line. Apart from our homes, cars are one of the most expensive yet important investments we make. Here are some of the issues you might run into when you don’t keep tabs on your car’s health:
Warranty – Some manufacturers require that cars be serviced regularly. Not having a record of service may mean you lose your car’s warranty. Be sure to check your warranty information to avoid invalidation.
Insurance – Maintenance records can affect any insurance claims you may have in case of an accident. Insurers use these logs when assessing your car before an incident.
Damage – Not all damages are obvious to us. The trained eye of mechanics can find unnoticeable problems and address them before they become bigger problems.
Oil Sludge – Sludge build-up is a common issue with most vehicles, thereby preventing proper oil flow and causing sub-optimal engine performance.
Fuel Efficiency – Your engine might not be using fuel efficiently; and this can be due to many factors. Fuel injectors, air filters, oxygen sensors and even tire pressure need to be checked regularly so you can be certain you aren’t wasting expensive fuel.
Signs to Watch Out for:
Most abnormalities in your vehicle go unnoticed. With that in mind, what are the things we need to look out for?
Strange or Unexpected Vibrations
Off the bat, strange or unexpected vibrations are one thing you should not ignore. After some time, you will undoubtedly have a feel for your car. Unusual shaking is an indication that something is amiss. One of the common reasons for shaking is having unbalanced tires, but take note that its hazardous not to attend to this right away.
Another bad sign is weird sounds coming from your car. A well-maintained machine should purr like a kitten. Unfamiliar noises can be an indication that there’s a problem and is usually a tell-tale sign that your car needs to be serviced. Here are a few things you should listen out for:
Squeaking or Screeching – When braking, keep an ear out for these kind of sounds. It might mean that your brake pads need replacing.
Grinding – These sounds usually mean a problem with the engine, the gears or your brakes. If this is the case, have your car serviced immediately.
Rattling – Clattering noises can mean anything from worn drive belts to low oil pressure or a bad catalytic converter.
Being aware of these symptoms is the first step. And it spells the difference between you taking the next steps to address the problem or leaving it unresolved. The latter usually ends up developing into a bigger and costlier problem. Remember that it’s always better to be sure, and having your vehicle regularly checked by a professional is always in the best interest of you and your car.
Cost VS Safety
The cost and inconvenience of having your car regularly maintained might be a chore. But your safety, the safety of your passengers and of other people on the road depend on it!
Your vehicle is a complex machine with thousands of parts. One or a combination of these parts can fail which can lead to loss of control. Losing your grip on the road with balding tires or being unable to stop due to worn-out brake pads can be dangerous.
Even cracked windshields or worn-out wipers can be a detriment to a driver’s vision, especially in inclement weather. These may seem small and trivial, but it can mean the difference between getting home safely or ending up in the hospital.
If there’s one thing to take away from this, it’s that the cost of a regularly scheduled check-up is nothing compared to the cost when the worst happens. Remember, prevention is the best cure. If you need help keeping your car in the best condition, give us a call at at 313-534-8090 (Redford) or 734-744-8557 (Livonia). You can also opt to request a quote here.