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7 Ways You’re Ruining Your Car

Preventive maintenance is key to keeping your car working well, but it's important to do it right. Here are 7 common car care mistakes you’re probably making and some tips on correcting them to help your vehicle last longer.

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Not Checking Tire Pressure


Car owners need to check tire pressure regularly even if the tires look fully inflated. Because tires can lose one to two pounds of pressure for every 10-degree drop in temperature, this task is especially important in the colder months. Proper inflation prevents wear and tear, and it also increases gas mileage.

Related: 8 Easy Ways to Winter-Proof Your Car

Neglecting the Undercarriage


Road salt and brine can trigger corrosion and rust underneath your car, which can over time damage mufflers, exhaust systems, subframes, and brakes. Thoroughly wash your vehicle’s undercarriage after heavy snows and at the end of winter. (Should you end up needing a replacement, check out Car Bibles’ reviews of the top mufflers on the market today.)

Related: Expecting Snow? Do These 7 Things ASAP

Using Glass Cleaner on Your Rear Windshield


Many glass cleaners contain ammonia, which is great for cutting grime on the windows of your house but harmful to the heating elements in your car’s rear windshield. When cleaning your automobile, always use a window cleaner designed specifically for auto glass.

Related: 10 Things You Never Thought to Keep in Your Car

Skipping an Oil Change


If motor oil sits too long, it will break down and leave gunky deposits in your engine, potentially damaging it. Adhere diligently to the auto manufacturer’s recommendation on oil changes, and don’t skip any of them.

Related: 13 Hacks Every Car Owner Should Know

Using a Cheap Battery Replacement


Not all car batteries are created equal. Take the time to research the battery best suited to the make and model of your car, and don’t make your decision based solely on price. You could end up paying more in the long run if your car’s electrical system gets disrupted as a result of a bad battery fit.

Related: 15 Genius Tricks for Keeping Your Car Clean

Waiting Too Long to Change Windshield Wipers


Change your windshield wipers as soon as they start leaving streaks or you risk impaired vision in dangerous conditions like rain and snow. A good rule of thumb is to change your wiper blades every six months or whenever you hear chattering or see streaking.

Related: The 10 Best Accessories You Can Buy for Your Car

Using Dish Detergent to Wash Your Car


Although dish soap can effectively remove grease from a car exterior, it will also strip off the automotive wax and sealer, leaving your vehicle’s finish unprotected. Always stick with automotive detergent when your car needs washing.

Related: Make Room for the Car: 7 Easy DIY Garage Organizers

Car Costs


Owning a car is an expensive commodity. By knowing a few useful hacks, you can help keep it in good condition and save some money along the way.