Mechanics: 7 things they want you to stop doing

Mechanics play a key role in preserving your car. However, if you want to take care of your car in the best way possible for both safety reasons and to guarantee its resale value, there are a few things you need to start doing (and a few you should stop doing).

It is very easy to get carried away by the everyday life routine and forget some of the basic principles of car maintenance, but you should  bear in mind that this can lead to unexpected damage to your car.

If you want to preserve your car, there are some bad habits that mechanics would like you to stop having.


7 bad habits pointed out by mechanics

There are some bad habits that can cause damage to our cars. Take some notes:


1. Ignoring lights on the dashboard

We often think that we can ignore an engine check light, but the truth is that in doing so, we risk causing serious damage that can lead to high repair costs.

When a light or message appears on your car’s dashboard, take your vehicle to your mechanic as soon as possible.


2. Not taking care of the car’s interiors

The status of the interiors can be a decisive factor when buying a car. Just as no one buys a sofa with stains and holes, no one wants to drive a car with a visibly battered interior.

Regularly vacuuming and washing your car will ensure that the interior remains harmonious, and will be a plus for when you need to sell your vehicle.


3. Ignoring strange noises

Ignoring noises is one of the worst habits cited by mechanics.

Vehicles in good condition do not make noises, squeaks, crackles or clicks. A high-pitched sound, for example, can be a sign that something is wrong with the transmission belt. A metallic sound may indicate a pump or engine bearing failure. Squeaking sounds when braking can indicate a serious brake problem, and popping sounds can indicate suspension problems.

If your vehicle makes any of these sounds or if you hear something unusual, don’t let it drag and get it checked.



4. Downhill braking 

Whenever possible, brake with the car’s engine. Despite the feeling that it is safer to put your foot on the brake on a slope, this behavior can cause premature wear of the brake pads.

When the brake pads become hot, they can literally boil the brake oil and make the brakes stop working altogether. The best solution to go down a slope is to reduce to a lower gear and assist with the brakes.


5. Postpone the car overhaul

Newer car models require periodic maintenance.

If you think engineers invented oil changes and that mechanics recommend overhauls just to make more money, think again. Overhauls are essential to increase the lifetime of your vehicle, even if it is electric.


6. Engine wash

The engine is the heart of your car. If you think about it, you’ll realize that there are several parts that can be lost or cause future problems if you pressure wash the engine.

Clean the engine only with a cloth and a small brush and forget about the water. In fact, cleaning the engine should not be necessary and it is usually done for aesthetic purposes only. Unless there is an oil leak, cleaning the engine will only be useful if you are thinking about selling your car.


7. Ignore stains on your garage floor

Large oil stains in the place where your car is parked is a sign that something is wrong and that you should contact your workshop urgently.

Low fluid levels, such as engine oil, can cause overheating and premature engine, transmission and power steering failures. In addition, a leakage of brake oil poses a real danger to your safety.

Most fluids can be identified by their color and texture. Engine oil, for example, is oily and brown. The coolant can be green, yellow, orange, red or blue, and is much thinner.

After identifying the type of fluid on your garage floor, locate the dipstick or reservoir for that component and check the level – it will probably be lower than it should be. Refill with the recommended fluid or, if you don’t know how to do it, contact your mechanic as soon as possible.

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