Ignorance is Bliss? Why Small Repairs are BIG for Car Performance
A dent here and a scratch there, on your car, might be something you just overlook. The same goes for noises. A slight squeak or squeal could sound like it’s not worth worrying about. And then you’ve got lights on the odometer. Some people see these little warning lights, and carry on driving with the thought that since nothing has happened yet, they’re fine. How misguided! Your car is much like your body in the sense that if you experience a strange symptom, it needs to be checked. Ignoring such signs could lead to serious troubles that aren’t only damaging to car performance, but also dangerous.
There’s no denying that rust looks unsightly. It stands out on an otherwise sleek and shiny car, detracting from the whole package. And if you’re looking to sell or trade that vehicle in with the rust on it, good luck! You’ll have anything but an easy time. However, rust is much more than a cosmetic problem. Rust spreads throughout a car’s structure, weakening it over a period of time until it gets more and more fragile. Eventually, the weight that your car was once able to support, will be too much for it to handle, and the risk for bolts to come apart increases.
You’ve probably seen this a million times: cars on the road at night where one headlight shines, whereas the other does not. It’s very unsafe. Many drivers will continue to drive this way, only concerned about evading the cops that might stop and ticket them. But there’s more to worry about than just the law. When moving at high speeds, you’re driving beyond your headlights. In other words, by the time you see an object in the field of light, it will be very difficult to slow down in time to avoid a collision. This is the reason why it’s so easy to hit deer and other animals. Driving with just one headlight makes things worse since visibility is greatly reduced. Your brain and eyes receive a very fuzzy image, making it hard for you to see what’s ahead of you.
Fuel and fluids
One of the easiest things you can address in your car are its fluid levels. They are driving forces for good car performance. Coolant/antifreeze comes to mind since it’s a matter of buying the right liquid for your car and topping off. Also, getting your regular oil change is absolutely important as well. Here’s the thing: failing to keep your car’s fluids in check will lead to the premature death of your engine. Think of these fluids as the lifeblood your car desperately needs. Additionally, there is the issue of fuel lines. If it’s clear that these components need work and you ignore, you could very put yourself and your passengers at risk for injuries due to intense fires. This reason alone makes it essential for you to have your fuel lines fixed if you suspect they are cracked.
Squealing and squeaking brakes sometimes occur because dust and temperature. However, if these noises are persistent, something else is at play. This is a sign that lining between your brake pads are worn-out, leading to a grinding of metal. That excess friction produces a lot of heat and of course, a lot of noise. To prevent further damage, the pads must be replaced. But other issues afflict brakes too (such as manufacturer defects that lead to car recalls). For an example, a brake pedal that sinks too low is a sign of your master cylinder not holding pressure. This is a dangerous situation since a hydraulic leak can lead to brake failure. You should have your brakes tested from time to time, but you should make your goal to have them replaced if there are signs of damage or malfunction.
One of the most overlooked yet vital aspects of your car are the tires. We all know what happens when we forget to inflate our tires. But your tires endure a lot of abuse in general. They come in contact with smooth, rocky, gravelly and uneven surfaces. They can be punctured by sharp objects, such as glass shards or nails, and have to withstand the extremes of heat and cold. But they can only survive such conditions if they’re well-maintained. There’s no wonder why it’s common to see drivers pulled over in the shoulder lanes with emergency lights on, waiting for a tow truck to come and replace their tires. Avoid such a hassle by keeping your tires in check.
Reminders as Motivation
Let’s say you’re one of those people who addresses things in the last minute, or only when they’re truly urgent. What you need are a few reminders. You can procrastinate on a personal project without too much harm, but waiting for a car issue to get worse is never a good idea. What you need is a sense of urgency before it becomes an emergency, so that you don’t face any consequences.
Reasons to act now
- Escalating costs – A $300 price tag could triple or quadruple if damage goes unfixed. Sooner or later, you’ll have to pay, so it’s better to just do so earlier.
- Risk of accidents – Certain glitches and malfunctions are known to increase the risk of serious and even fatal accidents. Would you be willing to put yourself and family at risk?
- Risk of injuries – If an accident were to occur, you or your passengers, could very well sustain injuries that can be minor, serious or even life-threatening. Although collisions are 100% avoidable, you can dramatically raise your safety level on the road by addressing car problems that could lead to accidents.
Nothing is Too Small to be Ignored
Don’t overlook the little signs of trouble when they come up. Just like a fever or rash is a sign of some illness, a noise or light is an indicator that your car needs attention from a mechanic. It’s true that some of these repairs might be costly, but that shouldn’t be a reason for you to ignore repairs. The costs to fix damage later on could be significantly higher if a glitch or malfunction escalates. More importantly, the costs of dealing with an accident or injury will be much higher than what you have to pay now. So do yourself a favour. Take action at the first sign of trouble and have your car fixed!