5 car maintenance moves consumers put off
You don't check or change the car's oil
According to AutoMD's Hafer, issues with the oil are the most common and potentially costly car maintenance problem. Although today's vehicles don't burn oil the way they did 25 years ago, troubles can arise that reduce the engine's oil level -- sometimes to dangerously low levels. Oil is your car engine's lifeblood. Checking the level every couple of weeks will alert you to a problem if your car is consistently burning or losing oil.
But oil level isn't the only issue. As it circulates through your engine and ages, oil gradually wears out. "If you don't change the oil regularly, your engine just isn't getting the lubrication it needs," Hafer says.
Regardless of what you might read online, your owner's manual is the ultimate authority on how often to change your oil. It spells out exactly how many miles you can drive (or how many months, if you don't drive your car much) between oil changes. Estimated cost of an oil change at a shop: $39.99.