Finding the time to take care of the things you own—let alone yourself—can seem impossible when work, family, and daily errands endlessly consume your life. But ignoring the things that should be your highest priorities can lead to costly and devastating consequences. For instance, consider your car. Although you might not have the time or money to keep up with your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, staying on top of critical auto services is paramount to its lifespan and performance. By skipping routine upkeep, the following 5 effects can result.
1. Plummeting Gas Mileage
As prices to fill your gas tank soar to record highs, maximizing fuel economy becomes even more critical, so you burn less fuel. Simple tasks like monitoring tire pressure, replacing spark plugs, changing the oil, and rotating your tires can boost gas mileage. Even changing the air filter can affect gas mileage on certain vehicles. But neglecting these services diminishes fuel efficiency, which causes your car to use more gas and you to visit the pump more often.
2. Jeopardizing Safety
Automobiles are heavy machines made of thousands of parts. And because of their magnitude and high-speed capabilities, one car accident can completely alter your life or someone else’s. Merely skipping routine oil changes can increase a car’s engine buildup and friction and cause critical components to wear more quickly. But the effects of negligence don’t end there. Besides engine problems, failing to inspect systems like brakes, steering, and suspension can lead to unsafe mechanical breakdowns and even loss of vehicle control. Not only do you put your safety at risk by being negligent, but you also endanger your passengers and other motorists.
3. Diminishing Auto Resale Value
When selling a car, the main goal is to make as much money as possible. But without a detailed service history report showing evidence of routine oil and filter changes, tire alignments, part replacements, and tune-ups, buyers might lowball you or even walk away from the sale. Even signs of rust or other visible damage can be red flags, especially with older and high-mileage vehicles. No one wants to invest their hard-earned cash in a money pit, and creating one will only damage your bank account long-term.
4. Invalidating Warranties
If your car is under warranty, failing to follow the terms of service can ultimately void the agreement. Depending on the provider, this could mean keeping records and receipts for all routine maintenance services like tire rotations, oil changes, and fluid level checks. Without a paper trail to prove you held your end of the deal, your provider can ultimately deny any claims you file. As a result, you’ll pay out-of-pocket for repairs your agreement may have otherwise covered.
5. Accumulating Hefty Repair Bills
Putting off routine maintenance is a surefire way to cause mechanical damage and lower your car’s overall performance. Problems like engine sludge, wearing tire treads and brake pads, and low fluid levels can lead to more expensive repairs if left unattended. For instance, missing oil and filter changes stops old oil from breaking down, causing it to turn into engine sludge. Over time, the sludge builds up, and oil passages clog. When this happens, a car’s engine can fail or combust.
To fix an issue like the above, you will need a skilled mechanic to rebuild or replace your engine, costing upwards of $3,000-$4,000 or more. But keeping up with your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule can extend the life of your vehicle, lessening your chances of needing extensive auto work for big-ticket items like head gaskets, transmissions, and, of course, the engine.
Caring for Your Car Saves You Long-Term
While the consequences of neglecting routine car maintenance can be dangerous and costly, they are also avoidable. With the help of a reliable extended auto warranty, you can keep your vehicle running well while saving money on repairs and preventing future inconveniences. And although not all providers add routine services to their contracts, certain ones do.
Third-party companies like Protect My Car, Endurance, and EasyCare offer customers extra perks and/or specific packages to help cut out-of-pocket costs on general maintenance items like oil changes and tire repairs. Remember, unforeseen malfunctions and breakdowns can happen anytime, anywhere. But you can foster safety and boost vehicle performance by taking proactive steps before they become more severe issues. Find coverage that works best for your car and budget by checking out our top-rated auto warranty reviews today.