The gas and go attitude has become a popular frame of mind for many of today’s drivers, but it’s a bad habit that can prove troublesome in the long run when it comes to a vehicle’s lifespan.
Teenagers, and oftentimes adults, often become so focused on the hustle and bustle of everyday life that making sure there is enough gas in the tank becomes the top priority.
However, that attitude can often lead to ignoring other areas of the vehicle that may be in dire need of attention and, in the end, could end up costing a pretty penny if not quickly addressed.
Examples of maintenance items often overlooked include things like tire pressure, oil levels, engine warning lights, and water temperature.
“Oftentimes, people don’t pay attention to the warning signs, and they turn an inexpensive problem into a huge problem that may ruin the engine,” said Rick Furrier, son of Jack Furrier, who owns the popular vehicle repair shops across Arizona.
For teens, says Furrier, the problem often comes down to a lack of proper education.
“A lot of times parents aren’t telling their young drivers what to look out for,” said Furrier.
In addition to more serious engine problems such issues can also greatly affect gas mileage. Increased technology is sometimes part of the reason motorists slack on maintenance items such as tire pressure.
“Many cars that were made in 2007 or after have a tire pressure monitor that tells the driver when they need to re-inflate their tires,” said Furrier. “The problem with that is those monitors don’t alert until tires are 25 percent or more deflated, so people may think they are driving around on an inflated tire, when in fact their tires may be 24 percent under-inflated.”
Furrier reminds motorists that tire pressure should be checked once per month. Other scheduled maintenance should include an oil change between every 3,000-5,000 miles, frequent checks on water and oil levels, and intermittent upkeep on air filters, spark plugs, brakes, and fuel filters.
Reading the vehicle manual for maintenance tips is greatly underutilized, Furrier adds.
DriversEd.com encourages motorists to carry the following equipment in their vehicles at all times should emergency maintenance become necessary.
• A properly inflated spare tire and jack
• Flares or reflective devices to alert other drivers of a breakdown
• A flashlight
• A tool kit
• Jumper cables
• A first-aid kit
• An empty fuel container (Never carry extra fuel in your vehicle – it is extremely hazardous)