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Just Ignore It?

When you own a car, you have signed on for some responsibilities. And while you didn’t actually have to sign a contract that guarantees you will do everything that needs to be done to keep your car running smoothly – and safely – you know that you should follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for a “healthy” vehicle. We’re talking more than just the usual oil and filter changes here! 

Just like a child, spouse or pet, that once-trusty vehicle can give you problems if you choose to ignore certain signs. To be a good auto owner and continue to have a reliable ride, you need to use common sense…and your senses.  Don’t ignore the sights, sounds, feel and even smells that don’t seem right or “normal” when you’re driving.

Here are the top 10 most ignored problems and the percentage of owners who admit to not repairing these issues in a timely manner (in this case, 30 days or longer), as reported on the website AutoInc.com :

Cracked windshields                           42.4%

Wheels out of alignment                      35.3%

Overdue oil change                             31.0%

Bald or worn out tires                           27.3%

Check engine light on                          26.4%

Brakes not working correctly               25.9%

Noise from the engine or wheels         24.4%

Slow leak in a tire                                 22.7%

No washer fluid                                     21.9%

Headlight or brake light out                  16.2%

AutoInc.com also put a “procrastination price tag” on the above issues to show auto owners what the cost may be if you wait on these needed repairs. 

If you have been guilty of putting off a needed auto repair, you are not alone.  It was reported that 91.8% of car owners admit they’ve put off a needed car maintenance issue longer than they should have. Reasons for this delay varied; not being able to afford the repair at that time or being too busy to take the time to get the car to the shop were at the top of the list.  Often the excuses were as minor as they didn’t trust mechanics, it gave them “anxiety” or that they couldn’t be without their vehicle.

Trent Pickering of Pickering’s Auto Service says, “We understand the anxiety associated with not knowing what the problem is and what it’s going to cost to fix it. And, if you’ve been to a shop where you’ve had to deal with the trust factor, it’s easy to see why some people put off maintaining their vehicles.  That’s why we take the time to explain and prioritize what services are needed.  We also give our customers a written estimate on any service items we find that might need repair – both immediately or in the future. And we can get you a Lyft ride so that we can do the repair while you are at work or back at your home.”

Here are five services that are often ignored by auto owners that should not be neglected and why.  The old adage of “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!” doesn’t apply when you’re talking about your vehicle.  You’ve heard it before – and it is true! - putting off preventative maintenance could actually wind up costing you more in the long run. 

Brake Maintenance

Brakes are the most neglected part of your car’s maintenance routine.  If you have noticed a squeaking, squealing or other noise when applying your brakes, don’t wait to get to the repair shop. Your brakes are vital to keeping you, and others, safe while you’re on the road. If the brake pads go too long without being replaced, it can actually cause issues with calipers needing to be replaced as well, which increases the standard brake cost.

If you see that your brake fluid from your car, truck or SUV, is low, don’t ignore it! If your fluid is low, that means that the pad material is getting low. This system is a sealed system, so the only way it gets low is if it leaks out or if the pad material gets lower allowing for the calipers to compress more and bring more fluid into the system. Additionally, know that over time your brake fluid can become contaminated and may need replacing.

Tire Maintenance

The condition of your tires is very important.  “Where the rubber meets the road” affects your ability to steer and stop your vehicle, as well as the smoothness of your ride. Tires that are past their prime lead to accidents, higher fuel consumption and the possibility of getting stranded in poor driving conditions.  Consider rotating your car’s tires every time you change your oil to avoid uneven wear and tear. This will help you remember when this essential service was last performed and won’t cost you an extra trip to the service center. 

And don’t forget to also check the tire pressure often and keep them inflated to the proper psi (pounds per square inch.)

Well-maintained tires can last up to 50,000 miles or more.  Conversely, poorly maintained tires may cause you to need early replacement of this very expensive car part.

Battery Maintenance

Getting stranded because your car won’t start is not fun.  Your car’s battery isn’t designed to last more than 5 years or so, so it makes sense to check the voltage output regularly if it’s been over that marker. It’s an easy check and an easy fix.

Air Conditioning Maintenance

Experts recommend a check up for your car’s AC system at least every 2 years. 

But don’t think that this is a seasonal concern.  The AC system of a car is also responsible for defrosting the vehicle during cold weather, making it essential for safe and comfortable driving. 

Power Steering Maintenance

Another recommended service that most vehicle owners ignore is preventive maintenance of their power steering system.  This could be as simple as flushing the system and replacing the fluid. Failure to do this can lead to the car becoming less responsive and difficult to turn eventually leading to breakdown of the power steering components like power steering pump, power steering gear box, power steering rack and pinion and power steering lines.  This makes driving dangerous and it’s far more expensive to fix the vital steering components that can be damaged by ignoring the problem, than to just maintain the fluids.

Whatever your problem, whatever your needs, you can rely on Pickering’s Auto Service in Lakewood, CO – Arvada, CO – Westminster, CO to help you keep your life in motion! Schedule an appointment online today or call in and speak to our trusted service team!






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