Change your oil regularly
Auto service professionals surveyed by Angie's List say the most common mistake drivers make is to extend oil-change intervals beyond what's recommended.
Andrea Woroch, a consumer expert with Kinoli Inc., which manages multiple money-saving websites in Windsor, Colo., agrees. "If you don't keep up with the manufacturer's recommended oil changes, you can damage your engine," she says. "Replacing your engine could cost thousands of dollars."
Woroch also warns that your car warranty can be invalidated if you don't keep up with your car manufacturer's recommended routine maintenance.
Brocoff says an oil change can cost as little as $10. According to CarsDirect.com, a basic oil change typically costs $20 to $25 but will vary according to your location and the type of oil you use. You can often find coupons and discounts to bring the price down.
"However, if it's not done right, you could damage the camshaft actuator," Brocoff says. "If you ignore that damage, you could end up with complete engine failure."
Fixing the camshaft actuator could cost $215 to $350, or more, according to the CarMD index and Brocoff.
Angie's List experts say an engine replacement could range up to $10,000, depending on the type of motor vehicle.