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6 Costly Car Repairs That Are Totally Avoidable

Little Mistakes That Can Lead To Big Car Repair Bills

Disclaimer: Nothing in this article should be taken as a replacement for following your owners manual or the advice of a certified mechanic. These tips are a culmination from various sources widely available on the internet.

As anyone who’s ever owned a car knows, they are a huge financial responsibility. Aside from the initial purchase price, there’s insurance, gasoline, and of course, repairs and maintenance.

While some car repairs are unavoidable, there are others that are totally avoidable if you take proper care of your vehicle. Here are a few of the most costly car repairs that are avoidable with some simple preventive maintenance.

Never Ignore The Check Engine Light

Ignoring the check engine can lead to major engine damage that could have easily been avoided had the problem been addressed immediately. There are many reasons the light comes on such as a loose gas cap, bad oxygen sensor, or failed catalytic converter.

Failing To Replace The Batter When Needed

Depending on the battery's condition, most last anywhere from three to five years. If you're still driving on the original battery that came with the car, chances are it needs to be replaced. Modern vehicles are full of electronic features that put a strain on the electrical system, and an old battery will struggle to keep up.

If your battery is drained, it will take longer for your starter to turn over. Your vehicle now draws more electricity, and the alternator kicks in to throw additional amps at the battery in order to recharge it. All those things drawing current can be affected by the spikes and lows over time.

It's easy to eliminate a lot of electrical problems by replacing the battery when needed

Not Maintaining Proper Fuel Level.

Electric fuel pumps are located in the fuel tank. Running the pump dry can damage it. The debris from the bottom of the tank will also get into the fuel filter and clog it. This will reduce fuel flow to the engine and cause all sorts of drivability problems.

If you allow the fuel level to constantly run lower than a quarter tank full, you run the risk of having  to replace the fuel pump sooner than necessary. It sounds weird but gasoline has a cooling effect on the fuel pump, and running low all the time could potentially shorten its lifespan

Unnecessary Transmission Flushes

If you know the history of your car, it may be okay to do transmission flushes just as your preventative maintenance suggests. However If you don't know the history and the car is running fine, then you might reconsider getting it done.

When you fill your car with new transmission fluid, it has specially designed detergent in it to keep a transmission clean. The issue is that it can break loose debris already present in the transmission resulting in a clogged filter. If the filter gets clogged, it will restrict fluid flow and cause all sorts of problems.

Not Using The Proper Tire Size

Whether it's a spare tire or just buying tires not rated for your vehicle, putting the wrong size tire on your car will cause problems. The spare tire is rated for a limited amount of miles and speed, so you should only use it in an emergency situation.

When you drive with mismatched tire sizes, it can cause the vehicle's differential to think that the smaller tires are slipping. It then tries to compensate by sending more power to the wheels, which can cause even more tire slippage and eventually lead to differential failure.

Kicking Ice & Sludge To The Curb

You may just do it without thinking but kicking ice and sludge off your car's bumper, fender and doors can cause cracks or damage to plastic moldings. Think about it this way. When the temperature gets below freezing plastic can become very brittle.

So if you're tempted to kick your bumper, Don't. It could easily crack and need to be replaced. The same goes for plastic moldings and door handles. If possible wait for warmer temperatures, spray it off with a high pressure water nozzle at a car wash or just gently use a soft bristle brush.

Diary Of A Car - Don't Bug Me

A Tough Day In The Neighborhood

I'm just a car trying to get from Point A to Point B minding my own business. The next thing you know a swarm of bugs come out of nowhere and start running into me. Now I'm covered in bugs. Aren't bugs supposed to be attracted to light, so why are they attacking me during the day.?

I try to shake them off, but they just keep coming. I honk my horn and swerve from side to side, but nothing seems to deter them. Finally, I pull into a parking lot and come to a stop.

I really hate bugs. They're always getting in my way and ruining my day. I wish they would just leave me alone. But no, they just keep coming and coming. I can't even go for a drive without them attacking me.

It's not fair. There's a big mess to clean up. I don't know why they did it, but it was really annoying.

Good thing my owner knows how to get rid of them.

How To Remove Bugs From Your Car

Keeping a car washed and clean can help some to prevent bugs from sticking to the paint and making a mess. Waxing the car will also make it harder for bugs to stick.

If your car is already covered in bugs, here are a few ways you can remove them:

  • Try to remove them as soon as possible. If they are left to dry, they will be harder to remove.

  • Use a garden hose or a high pressure sprayer to rinse off as many of the bugs as possible.

  • Apply a commercial bug remover that you can find at most auto stores. Typically you apply the solution to the bugs with a sponge and scrub until they come off.

Preventative Measures

It's always best to take preventive measures to avoid bugs in the first place. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Regularly clean your windshield and front of the car so that bugs are less likely to stick.

  • Keep your car waxed so that bugs have a harder time sticking to the paint.

  • Install a bug deflector on the front of your car.

Road Trip Anyone

You Might Go On Vacation But Car Maintenance Never Should

As we enter the dog days of Summer, family vacations and long road trips become top priorities. But even if you're taking a break from your regular routine, car maintenance should never be put on the back burner.

Getting Prepared To Go

Before hitting the open road, be sure to give your car a once-over to make sure everything is in working order. This includes checking your engine oil, coolant levels, tires, and brakes.

If you're not comfortable performing these checks yourself, or if you notice anything out of the ordinary, it's always best to take your car to a professional for a thorough inspection.

Once you're on the road, be sure to keep an eye on your vehicle's gauges and warning lights. If anything pops up, don't ignore it! Pull over at the next safe opportunity and check out what's going on.

Don't Sweat or Let The Small Things Bug You

Summer is also a good time to check other items and systems in your car such as the air conditioning, wiper blades, and washer fluid levels. These are all things that you'll be using frequently during the hotter months, so it's important to make sure they're in good working order.

You never know when you might be driving and you get a heavy downpour or you have to clear away some bugs, so it's always best to be prepared.

Always Have A Backup Plan

In general we have become used to using the GPS system on our phones to get us where we need to go. But what happens if you're driving in an unfamiliar area and your phone dies or you lose service?

That's why it's always a good idea to have a physical map on hand as well as a backup plan for directions. It might seem old-fashioned, but there's nothing worse than being stranded in the middle of nowhere with no way to get home.

If you're going to be driving in unfamiliar territory or in remote areas, be sure to let someone know your route and estimated time of arrival. That way, if something does happen, someone will know where to start

And last but not least, always remember to drink plenty of water and take breaks often when driving during the summer months. Heat exhaustion is no joke, and it can happen to anyone. So stay hydrated, stay alert, and most importantly, enjoy your summer

Can You Buy A Brand New Tesla For A Dollar

If It Looks To Good To Be True It Probably Is

When you read that headline, I bet you were more than just skeptical. In fact you already knew it couldn't possibly be true. So how could someone possibly be selling brand new Tesla's for just a dollar? The answer is they aren't but that's not the point. The headline got your attention.

 While our exercise in skepticism was easy to spot, unfortunately that's not always the case. Online scammers have for years tried to take advantage of people, but with the surge in used car values, they are working overtime. With so many people out of work and struggling to make ends meet, scammers know that now is the time to strike.

 One of their tried and true methods they like to use is posting to online classified sites. They post incredible sounding deals on cars with the hope some unsuspecting victim will take the bait. They even go to legitimate used car dealers website's to steal the cars' information and images. All of this is to try and lure you in so they can get your money. So how can you spot these scams?

Here are a few things to look out for:

  1. The price is too good to be true - This should be obvious but unfortunately it's not always.

  1. They refuse to meet in person - A common tactic of scammers is to insist on communicating only through email or text. They will give all kinds of excuses as to why they can't meet in person but the truth is they don't want to get caught.

  1. They ask for payment upfront - This is a huge red flag. No legitimate seller is going to ask for payment before you even see the product.

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