Every year, people spend more money than necessary on their vehicles. Many of these individuals have no idea just how much goes toward this one thing until they analyze the numbers. Only then do they realize the different financial mistakes they’ve made.
By learning what these mistakes are, you can avoid making common errors. As a result, you can keep more money in your pocket rather than spend it unnecessarily on your car. The following five financial mistakes rank at the top of the list.
1. Not Adhering to a Maintenance Schedule
As a driver, you know the importance of keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape. Not only does scheduled maintenance make your car safer, but it also helps it perform better. Maintenance includes things like having the oil and air filter changed, tires rotated, fluids checked, tune-ups performed, and so on.
While all of these are essential for the health of your car, oil changes seem to cause the biggest problem. Most automakers recommend having the oil changed every 3,000 miles. However, some vehicle makes and models can go as long as 5,000 miles and even up to 7,500 miles. Regardless, the goal is to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Something like not having the oil changed as required can prove disastrous. After all, the oil is what lubricates the moving parts and components of a car’s engine. So, if you drive with the oil level seriously low, you could ultimately blow the engine. If that happens, you can anticipate paying between $2,000 and $4,000 for a replacement, depending on the automobile.
2. Paying for Failed Parts Themselves
When driving your car, eventually, you will run into failing parts. If you do, you have two choices. You can pay for it out of pocket or you can allow your vehicle’s warranty to pay for the expense. There is; however, one additional option you have. You can purchase an extended warranty that will cover your repairs.
The best extended car warranties will provide an extra layer of protection for both your car and your wallet. If something on your car fails and the warranty plan you have chosen covers it, the third-party company will pay for the cost of the repair or replacement. Be aware, deductibles may apply.
3. Not Paying Attention to Dashboard Warnings
When putting automobiles together, manufacturers include various warning systems. To make it easy for drivers to identify a potential problem, they incorporate illuminated symbols on the dashboard. Some of these warnings are for low tire pressure, oil change needed, check engine, and door open. However, the only way for these signals to serve their purpose is if drivers pay attention to them.
Unfortunately, many drivers become complacent when driving. Because they feel overly comfortable behind the wheel, they do not notice when one of the warning signs appears.
4. Ignoring Strange Noises
While this does not typically apply to new vehicles, it can. Strange noises more commonly occur in older cars. With age and as the miles increase, hearing something out of the ordinary is not too worrisome. Then again, perhaps it should be.
In some cases, an odd noise is nothing more than age-related creaks. Other times, this indicates something seriously wrong. No one should ever ignore unusual noises regardless of where they come from. True, it might not be a big deal, but then again, it might.
For instance, a noise emitted from the tires could indicate several possible issues. It could have to do with low pressure or a bubble or it might mean a bolt has loosened or a part failed. Odd sounds coming from under the hood are even more disturbing. If you notice any new noise, do not hesitate to have a certified mechanic check it out.
5. Tossing Recall Notices in the Trash
Automakers send out recall notices for a reason. Sometimes, this only requires the replacement of a small and non-critical part. However, a recall can also indicate a major safety risk. Take the airbag recalls that affected several automakers. Without replacing the airbag, car owners put themselves in a dangerous position if involved in an accident.
Look, taking the time to get your car to the dealership or an approved service center is annoying, but it is necessary. So, if you ever get a recall notice in the mail, do not throw it out. Not only is the problem fixed at no charge to you, but it could also be something that ultimately saves your life or the lives of any passengers.
Along with these five mistakes, there is another one you should know about: not having the right car insurance coverage or paying too much for premiums. In the U.S., you must have insurance to drive, but that does not mean you have to spend a lot of money for coverage. To avoid making this costly mistake, start by comparing car insurance quotes. You can see what different insurers offer, making it easier for you to select a policy based on your needs and budget.
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