No one wants to be without transportation while their vehicle is being repaired. Not only are car repairs generally an unexpected expense, but it's inconvenient to get to work, school and other obligations without your own transportation. It's best to avoid costly repairs whenever possible. Fortunately, there are a number of easy and affordable things you can do to keep your car, truck or van from ending up in the repair bay.
What you can do to prevent common auto repairs
1. Engine problems from low oil levels. One of the best things you can do for your vehicle (and one of the least expensive) is to check your oil level every two weeks and have the oil changed according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Engine oil is the life blood of your vehicle and low oil levels will cause your car to wear out before its time.
2. Leak in the emissions system. Your vehicle's emission system is designed to trap gas fumes and prevent them from being released into the atmosphere. However, this system can be compromised by corrosion and rust. When this happens, it can be difficult and expensive to find where the leak is located. Help prevent this by making sure that you gas cap is tightened well after you fill up your tank to keep fumes from backing up into the emissions system.
3. Engine misfiring. Engine misfirings are generally caused by bad spark plugs or spark plug wires. Left unattended, this problem can lead to expensive engine repairs. It's best to catch this type of situation early by making sure that you keep up with the maintenance routine recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
4. Brake pad failure. Most cars need new brake pads every few years, but you can lessen the cost and the frequency of this repair by modifying your driving behavior and being alert to any grinding sound from your vehicle. Hurrying up in traffic only to put on your brakes puts unnecessary wear on the pads. In addition, waiting to have a brake repair, even when you know there is a problem, can make that repair much more expensive. If you wait, you're likely to also need new rotors and calipers as well as the pads.
While not every car repair issue is preventable, you can reduce the odds of being without transportation considerably by keeping up with your scheduled maintenance, checking your oil regularly, and making sure that your gas cap is tightened securely when you fill up your gas tank.