Car maintenance: Don't skip these 8 moves

Don't neglect car maintenance
Don't neglect car maintenance © Rob Bayer/

Whether you have a shiny new vehicle or a tired clunker, car maintenance is your responsibility. Following the rules about oil changes and regularly scheduled appointments with your favorite mechanic takes care of both your car and your wallet. Neglecting to spend $20 on a simple car repair or maintenance project and ignoring your manufacturer's recommendations for an oil change could end up costing you thousands. The best source of information on your responsibilities can be found right in your glove compartment.

"No one wants to read the owners manual, but it will save you a ton of time, trouble and money down the road," says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List, a website for service-company listings.

Read on to find out which car maintenance moves are worth taking on and which car maintenance mistakes are the costliest.

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Today's cars are designed to run smoothly for years and years, but skipping the most basic maintenance chores can lead to costly repairs. Here are three responsibilities no driver can afford to ignore.

When the check-engine light comes on but the car keeps running, it's easy to put off investigating the cause. But drivers ignore the warning at their peril. Ignoring the check-engine light can lead to an escalating series of problems down the road or even a safety risk.

The most common maintenance chore skipped by drivers is the oil change. Not sticking to a regular oil-change schedule can permanently damage the engine of your car, which costs thousands of dollars to replace.

Finally, checking tire pressure is easy, but it's also very easy to forget. Too much or too little pressure can lead to a blowout, which can be dangerous as well as a little pricy when you have to replace the tire.



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