8 Bad Habits That Kill Your Car in Ways You Don’t Even Realize

Updated Jul 06, 2018 | Same topic: Handy Maintenance Tips

Know what habits you have that can actually kill your ride.

I’m sure that you love your car dearly. Just like any other thing that you have invested in, you take pride in it and consider it as part of your family. In your car, you are in your own world where you could be most comfortable and most vulnerable at times; also be your funniest and corniest at other times. Your car is your second home, something that takes you safely from point A to point B, protects you from extreme weather conditions, listens to your problems and probably wishes it could speak and give you advice, and supports you in your trips either alone, with a loved one, with friends or family.

a man holding a car

Show some love to your car by making sure you take extra care of it

The downside of being too comfortable is sometimes we don’t get sensitive enough to what’s really going on and just think everything’s okay. We tend to ignore important signs and stuff that could actually lead to something serious, just because your car is still moving the same way it does every day. You have the tendency to ignore minor problems just because we can still use the car effectively. Sometimes these minor car problems can actually be serious that if continuously ignored, can lead to your car’s early retirement. You don’t want to be your car’s own killer, right?

Now we don’t want this to happen. So it is important for you to know the red flags that your car is giving you that you should attend to immediately. Let's Philkotse.com bring it to you.

>>> See also: Here is how careless driving destroys your car components

1. Not monitoring your car oil levels regularly​​

Oil check can easily be done. You just have to remind yourself to do it more often. The car with low oil level or nearly none at all causes the engine parts to lose the necessary lubrication they need to function properly, hence, leading to major car engine problems. On the other hand, if your car has too much oil, it can go to other engine parts that doesn’t require oil supply and that can still result to problems. By not checking your oil’s status, your car can just randomly stop anywhere and you will have no choice but to pay for towing service to get it to the nearest auto shop. Repair equals money down the drain.

A helpful YouTube video from geobeats showing how to check your car oil level

2. Missing your scheduled maintenance

I have encountered this scenario too many a times. Either the car owner is too busy, or there’s no one else who could take the car for its scheduled check, or the car owner just doesn’t have the money to do it yet, and a lot of other reasons you could imagine. A schedule is a schedule. That’s why it’s called ‘scheduled’ maintenance because you are supposed to know when it’s due and it’s unavoidable. Given that fact, you should have ample time to block that day on your calendar, let your boss now way ahead of time and set money for it. No excuses.

>>> Also check out: 3 important milestones for new car maintenance schedule

A car maintenance station

There's just no excuse for missing this 'scheduled' maintenance

3. Keeping your window open even on just misty days

You’re so excited it rained after a few days of being dry. It’s not even rain at all, just a huge drop in temperature and mist. You want to enjoy this moment and at the same time save some gas by turning the air conditioning off and opening the windows. Of course, mist is still a fluid in essence, no matter how tiny or gentle they are – and you know that your car has some electricity running through some of its parts right? Water and electricity don’t mix well. So by doing this seemingly simple thing, it could actually harm your car.

4. Not checking your filters regularly

If your scheduled maintenance is yet to come, you can do a check on your car yourself. Check the filters and if you see, for example, your air filter looks like it came from the Wild West, do your car a huge favor and manually clean it. Not only that it will save your car from damages that you could have prevented, but also it can save you some money too – for gas and all.

5. Ignoring your car tire pressure & tread

This is important. You know that car tires have the responsibility of making the car literally move from one place to another. It also carries the weight of the car, its cargo and passengers. It is also responsible for you and your passengers’ safety. Not checking your car’s status can definitely impact how your car performs. If your car doesn’t have the right pressure, it will drag your car and the weight it carries, causing fuel inefficiency and tire wear and tear. Meanwhile, not checking the tread depth could potentially cause safety issues because the tires won’t have the capability it needs to tightly grip on the road which could lead to accidents. This is one of the things we would want to avoid.

A flat tyre

Always check your tire pressure

6. Not going for a regular car wash

Again, no time and being busy are the best excuses any car owner would have to say for this bullet point. Car wash is cheap, and you can do it after office or over the weekend, only if you would make time for it. Keeping your car dirty could bring a huge impact on its exterior like paint, scratches and possible rust forming. While inside, if you don’t vacuum your car on a regular basis, all the stains and smells will be kept and as time flies by, will already be difficult to remove.

>>> Read more: The 5 No-no’s When Your Car is Dusty and Dirty​

A dirty car

Dirty car can lead to effects on your car paint, and possibly cause rust too

7. Driving in extreme conditions

This could happen during typhoon season. There could be times when even if it’s already flooding and you know for yourself that flood can ruin your car, you still dare to go through it thinking it won’t reach the engine. These kinds of scenarios just needs a little bit more thinking – if the roads seem like a river, don’t push it, unless you are willing to risk totally ruining your engine and spending a hefty amount of money getting it fixed. Park your car in a safe, flood-free place when there’s non-stop rains, and you feel that a flood is about to happen. Do this even before the water starts to form in the streets.

>>> Learn tips to protect your car in extreme conditions:

A flooded car

If its flooded - always a no go. Don't push it

8. Not taking a car for a check even if ‘Check Engine’ is lit up

Once you see this, it should be a no brainer – again, no excuses. May it be just a faulty thermostat, still, have it checked. It is better to know if there’s something really wrong than speculate – catching the problem early on is better than catching it too late.

>>> Also read: 6 Important Car Warning Signs On The Dashboard

Check Engine light on

When this lits up, better get it checked

Take note of these important points for a better car maintenance so you can keep your car with you longer. Again, repeat to yourself: ‘No Excuses.’ Your car is your investment so it just deserves all the care and concern that you could give.

Ivy Kristia Padura

Ivy Kristia Padura


Ivy is one of the first Philkotse's content writers. She finds joy in sharing her driving tips, particular for dealing with heavy traffic in Metro Manila, with other fellow drivers.

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