Mechanic’s warning over keeping cars safe to drive in summer – 3 steps you must take, down to what wash to use

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A PROFESSIONAL mechanic says three common tips to save money that can actually cost you in the long run – what do to instead.

Owning a car is expensive – but skipping key maintenance intervals for the sake of saving a buck could end up more costly.

A professional mechanic warned drivers of three things they should never skip as temperatures rise

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A professional mechanic warned drivers of three things they should never skip as temperatures riseCredit: WPTV
He said that factory warranties can be voided if maintenance is skipped or postponed

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He said that factory warranties can be voided if maintenance is skipped or postponedCredit: WPTV
A professional road tester with Consumer Reports said gas station car washes should be avoided

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A professional road tester with Consumer Reports said gas station car washes should be avoidedCredit: WPTV

As temperatures rise, some vehicle owners will do what they can to save money on repairing their vehicles.

Michael Quincy, a writer and vehicle road tester for Consumer Reports, said three common repair “hacks” end up costing drivers thousands.

Many people, he told NBC affiliate WPTV, may skip oil changes to avoid paying the $85 to $200.

Skipping oil changes can be especially expensive for those who regularly drive in demanding conditions like stop-and-go traffic or experience hot summers.

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If oil goes long enough without being changed, it can lose its viscosity and put vulnerable moving parts in danger of wearing out or overheating.

Replacing an engine after it’s seized or warped from high temperatures can cost thousands of dollars in parts and labor.

Another common “tip” is to continue driving on bald or old tires.

Many people don’t realize the importance tires have in stopping at appropriate distances or avoiding obstacles.

“If you’re driving in the rain on worn-out tires, your handling is going to be much worse,” he said.

“Your braking distances are gonna get longer. It really is a safety feature.”

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Matt Overbeck, the owner of Overbeck’s Auto Service in Ohio, said that skipping oil changes or other regular maintenance intervals can void factory warranties.

“We have seen cases where extended warranties deny coverage because certain maintenance items weren’t performed per the manufacturer’s recommendation,” he said.

Other tips from Quincy included not ignoring a slow-to-start battery, as the car can fail to start.

When it comes to keeping a car clean, it’s also wise to skip the gas station car washes.

How often should you change your oil?

Experts say the exact figure depends on a variety of factors, including:

  1. Age of vehicle. Older vehicles tend to need oil changes sooner than newer cars, as the engine oil used doesn’t last as long as newer oil. Plus, the clearances between moving parts tend to be wider than when the engine was new.
  2. Type of oil. Synthetic oil tends to last a lot longer between changes compared to synthetic or a synthetic blend.
  3. Driving conditions. People who live in dusty areas or regions with extreme weather conditions that require a lot of driving or stop-and-go traffic should change their oil sooner than normal to keep moving parts lubricated.
  4. Cars that bear heavy loads, like regularly towing a trailer, as it puts strain on an engine.

Typically, older cars should have their oil changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. More modern cars can go between 5,000 to 7,500 miles between changes, especially as modern oil contains more efficient lubricants and additives. Some cars that use synthetic oil only need changes every 15,000 miles.

It’s important to read your owner’s manual to determine the exact weight and interval your car needs.

Source: AAA

“The kind of brushes that use the whirly thing can really scratch your paint, it can leave swirl marks,” Quincy said.

“So, a touchless car wash is better.”

Finally, he saved his best piece of advice for last.

Everyone has access to this time and money-saving item, but many don’t appreciate the knowledge within.

“How many fathers or mothers have said this to their young drivers: ‘Look in the owner’s manual,'” said Quincy.

“The owner’s manual is gonna tell you a maintenance schedule that you should go by.”

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