With car ownership being so universal and often filled with hidden expenses, many people have tips and tricks for keeping their car running at its best throughout its lifetime.
Unfortunately, whilst there are some good tips about when you should opt for windscreen replacement services and how often to drive a car to keep all of its parts in good working order, there are other tips that are counter-intuitive to say the least.
Here are some of the worst car maintenance tips, and what to do instead.
Do Not Use Water Instead Of Washer Fluid
Despite its appearance, washer fluid is not the same as water. It has a lower freezing point and often has additives that help create a streak-free shine.
However, some motorists, attempting to save money, try and use water out of the tap, which in many ways is not a good idea, especially when it gets cold.
There is a risk of clogging the washer hoses, which can potentially crack when the water freezes and then expands. It could even ice over your windscreen, which can cause problems in its own right if not thawed out properly.
Instead, make sure you use washer fluid and regularly replace your windscreen wipers when they begin to streak and squeak.
Do Not Defrost A Windscreen With Hot Water
If you want to defrost an iced-over windscreen in a hurry, it can be tempted to put on the kettle and pour it down the windscreen, rather than waiting for the car’s own heating to turn on, using a heated blanket or scraping.
However, due to the thermal shock principle this can cause a windscreen to chip, crack or sometimes shatter entirely.
Instead, wait for the car’s defroster to do its job for you.
Do Not Pour Water Into The Engine
If water can cause clogged and seized up washer systems, you can perhaps guess what it would do when flushed through an engine. One story of this happening had the poor owner’s car shaking quite violently before it shut down and never turned on again.
Typically if you need your engine flushing you should be taking it to a mechanic.
Do Not Tape Over The Warning Lights
Out of sight, out of mind is the mentality of some motorists, but this cavalier approach to vehicle maintenance can cost thousands in the long run, even if the problem initially appeared to be minor.
Typically cars have a range of lights that will display in either yellow or red depending on severity. If you have a red warning light, stop driving as soon as it is safe to do so to avoid an unexpected breakdown, failure or dangerous situation.
Similarly, outside of very basic maintenance, know when to consult a professional to avoid accidentally making a car problem worse.
Keep An Ear Out For Odd Sounds And Feelings
Typically when you drive a car, you know how it is meant to sound when it is working normally, but if you start hearing regular odd sounds coming from the car, such as scrapes, rattles, crunches, squeaks and squeals, it may be time to get your car checked.
In some cases it can just be a one-off issue, but in others it can be the first sign of a major issue that can be fixed for less if diagnosed and fixed quickly.