Little ways we’re killing our cars, and how to knock it off

A wrecked, broken-down car at the side of the road.

We’re killing our cars. We should feel guilty, or at the very least stupid. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Tony Atkin/Wikipedia)

We’re killing our cars. By not exercising an ounce of preventative maintenance, we’re driving our vehicles into an early grave. Here are some minor car problems that can become major without proper care.

Killing our cars example No. 1 – Not performing routine maintenance

No machine was meant to run indefinitely, and this is particularly true of machines that do not receive a modicum of preventative maintenance. Oil change, tire rotation, tire air pressure, transmission service and all of the other basic recommended services should be performed on schedule.

Killing our cars example No. 2 – Ignoring the check engine light

Ignoring the check engine light might work at first, but it’s bad policy to let it linger. It’s the classic case of a small problem that can balloon into a larger, more expensive problem if you aren’t paying attention.

Killing our cars example No. 3 – Driving while the vehicle is overheating

Don’t assume that you can continue to drive your car while it’s overheating! It shouldn’t take smoke and fire spewing from beneath the hood to give you pause. Friction buildup due to improper lubrication can cause bearings and seals to break down, leading to expensive engine replacement.

Killing our cars example No. 4 – Changing fuel and air filters

For proper internal combustion to occur, your car needs the appropriate air-to-fuel mixture. If your fuel and air filters are dirty, your car’s engine won’t fire optimally, costing you performance and fuel efficiency. At its worst, a gummed up fuel filter will mess up fuel injection and leave you with a dead engine. Replace each type of filter regularly.

Killing our cars example No. 5 – Cheaping out on parts and service

If you settle on inferior parts and unqualified service reps for your car, you will ultimately get what you pay for. That doesn’t mean that everything has to be gourmet in your 1992 Ford Escort, but it does mean that it pays to go with reliable parts and service – more bang for your buck is provided.



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