If you’re a car owner, then you must know the significance of your car’s engine. The engine forms the heart of the vehicle, and if it doesn’t work correctly, then you can be sure that your vehicle will not take you anywhere you want it to. This is the reason why performing proper maintenance of your used car is exceptionally crucial and that too on a regular basis.
Driving a used car is fun, as long as it is not embarrassing and helps you run errands across the city. Most used car owners are satisfied with their purchase because used cars have many issues after purchase since they get their preferred car within their budget. After driving it for a year or two, it is difficult to tell whether it was purchased brand new or used.
However, there are downsides as well.
If you, too, drive a used car, here are a few things you will want to keep in mind to avoid expensive repairs and inconveniences.
Problems You Will Face With Your Car Gets Older
That feeling of driving a smooth, quiet car dwindles away over time, and disappointment kicks in when you no longer take pride in your ride. There’s nothing wrong with driving an older car, these are commonly used car issues after purchase, but when it starts to cost you your peace of mind and a lot of money, know that it’s time to sell it off and move on to a new purchase.
But how will you know that your car is old enough and should be sold or scrapped? Here are the common problem signs that suggest your car is getting older.
#1 Engine check light comes on
The biggest used car problem is engine check light is often accompanied by a sinking feeling in your gut. It’s a sign that a big problem is bubbling under the surface, or some of the engine parts have worn out and need to be replaced. This may also happen because of a bad catalytic converter. Such a situation arises if you had been negligent about routine service of your car or tried to save some bucks by using cheap aftermarket spare parts.
#2 Electronics start to fail one by one
A few days ago one of the headlights went out, yesterday it was the cooling fan that stalled due to a bad relay, and today, you are struggling to crank the engine. If that defines your situation, then you are definitely driving an old car that you shouldn’t.
#3 Exhaust getting louder
The louder exhaust is a telltale sign of an older car with Problems, which occurs due to a leakage in the exhaust manifold or in the muffler – one of the common signs of an old car if it’s not accidental.
#4 Vehicle feels rough when idle
Fluctuating RPM, engine vibrations, and decreased fuel efficiency are a few of the signs of bad spark plugs or there’s a good chance that the throttle body needs to be cleaned.
#5 Clutch Pedal Issue
The way your clutch pedal feels under the foot tells a lot about its condition. When a car clocks 40k miles, its clutch pedal starts to feel rough and hard to press. If you’re facing an issue like this, get your clutch cylinder checked and fixed before you find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere. Clutch breakdown results in a non-functional clutch pedal, and your vehicle won’t budge until it’s repaired.
#6 Radiator Cap
A bad radiator cap can reduce the efficiency of your car’s cooling system, which can lead to engine overheating and hence, expensive repairs. The rubber seals inside the radiator cap tend to come loose over time, letting pressure and coolant escape the radiator. If your car’s radiator is still running on an old cap, consider getting it replaced to prevent extreme damages.
#7 Bad Timing Belt Tensioner
Another common issue in used cars, bad timing belt tensioner is usually accompanied by a rattling or squealing noise, specifically at higher RPMs. Typical consequences of a bad timing belt tensioner are loss of power, misfires, and sometimes, no-start condition.
Cars tend to breakdown, but if that happens so frequently that the repairs are burning a hole in your pocket, you should consider selling the car off for instant cash.
How To Maintain Your Used Car In The Proper Manner?
Moreover, you should learn that running an improperly tuned engine can lead to a significant safety issue in the long-term. Keeping the same in perspective, we are sharing some of the significant preventive used car maintenance suggestions that you can utilize to maintain your car engine and performance in a proper manner.
Keeping The Car Engine Clean
Since your engine typically works hard to move your vehicle from one place to another – you need to ensure that it stays clean of dust, debris & grime. Over an extended period of time, if you don’t clean your engine, the air filter can get blocked – thereby leaving dirt inside your car hood. Furthermore, insects and other elements also tend to find a way into your vehicle because of the overall dirtiness.
You should know that grease, if not cleaned regularly, can easily cover your engine – making it trap heat and quite impossible to cool down as a result. Times like these are when you need to use a degreaser to clean the outside of your car engine.
Apart from that, you also need a vacuum to be able to suck in all the dust & debris that have accumulated around the engine so that you can keep your engine spotless over time. Moreover, if you do notice any weird smell or noises coming out of your engine, be sure to get in touch with your nearest car mechanic for the same.
Performing Proper Lubrication
An engine consists of moving parts, which is why it’s crucial to have correct lubrication so that there is less friction between the moving parts. In case you don’t lubricate your used car engine, then the conflict between the moving parts can lead to extended damage to the engine itself. There will be times when simple damage can lead to you changing a specific part or the entirety of the engine – which is an extra cost in itself. Unless you want that to happen, you should take precautions beforehand.
Besides, you should also ask your mechanic to check your piston rings, crankshaft, cylinders, and the likes, to be appropriately lubricated as well. The seals inside parts of the engine should also be checked so that it provides a smooth operation.
Servicing Your Spark Plug
If you want to keep grime & dirt out of your vehicle’s combustion chamber, then you must remember to clean your spark plug on a periodic basis. Cleaning is simple as you’ll just need to get your car to a nearby vehicle service center, and the experienced mechanic will do that for you.
The mechanic will first proceed to remove the spark plug lead, clean the surrounding areas, then pull the spark plug itself and use a brush (along with a special cleaner) to wipe up all the dirt & dust. Even though this might seem like an inadequate job, it can still go a significant way in improving the overall performance of your car engine.
Perform Proper Oil Change
Doing a proper oil change for your vehicle is a straightforward procedure, yet very few car owners out there don’t do it until it’s too late. You must remember that an oil change can indeed make all the difference in enhancing the performance of the vehicle. It should be perceived that over time, your engine oil will get adulterated with dirt, dust & grime – which will not help the engine get the most out of it (especially for the lubrication system). Generally, you should check as well as change your oil at least once per six months or at least after doing 10,000 miles – whichever comes earlier.
However, if you’re not sure whether your car engine needs an oil change or what type of engine oil you should be using – just get in touch with a professional mechanic for the same.
How You Can Minimize Car Maintenance Cost?
Driving a car is the easiest, buying a car will be hard, and maintaining it is of course the hardest task. In this article, we’ll tell you how you can reduce the maintenance costs of your beloved car. Have a close look at the points we have mentioned below
Reduce fuel consumption
Using certain driving techniques that maximize fuel economy, you could be able to minimize your maintenance costs. You can increase their fuel efficiency 25 percent to 30 percent simply by checking their tire pressure and mildly altering your driving habits. Other tips include reducing your speed, sudden accelerating, and consolidating trips and errands.
Learn The Basics
Completely, familiarise yourself with your vehicle’s owner manual, which includes all sorts of helpful information.
Learn what basic car maintenance has to be done and when, and there’s less likelihood of getting into a pickle i.e, paying for work that isn’t really necessary at a particular time. The manual will also equip you to perform certain maintenance tasks yourself, rather than paying a specialist. Undoubtedly, this could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Care For Your Tyres
Your Tyres are the shoes of your car. If you keep your shoes clean and healthy, they will get you to your destination without any hassle. Cut down the temptation to “burn rubber.” Avoid driving on wet road conditions as you look at them as an opportunity to drift. Also, be gentle with your brakes, rather than quickly slamming your foot down on the brake pedal. This can help you get better mileage of the brake system.
Have A Good Relation With The Mechanic
Try and form a good working relationship or friendship with a mechanic. Find someone you can truly rely on, who you know will absolutely double-check the safety aspects of your vehicle. He/She will not suggest preventative maintenance unless it’s genuinely in your best interests.
Use Only The Best And Genuine Spares
You can massively reduce car maintenance costs by using only high-quality vehicle parts and spares, designed to work optimally in your vehicle and to resist any wear and tear. Cheap products fail often and in some cases, they damage the interior engine, etc.
Search For The Best Covered Insurance
Insurance costs can be really hectic if not chosen properly. Say for example, if you don’t have much fibre covered panels on your car, then choose to opt out from fibre damage coverage. The internet is a mine of various helpful knowledge. Do your own research or ask people who own the same car as yours – what insurance they generally pay for? At the end, a well maintained car is always better than well bought car.
The above-mentioned used car problems and maintenance tips are very common and every car owner should be aware of these for a safe, secure and comfortable ride.