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null Four common things motorists do, or don’t do, that can lead to car trouble

However, all too often, motorists put off vehicle maintenance tasks that often wind up costing them a bundle in repair bills.

To help avoid these costly incidents, the U.S.-based recently released some suggestions of the car repair mistakes to avoid.

Procrastinating on maintenance

Perhaps the biggest issue when it comes to automotive repair is neglecting preventive maintenance and addressing minor repairs. The car repair website indicates that drivers will often hear or see something that they need to address. But all too often, those minor they say they’ll eventually get around to get put off for far too long – sometimes when it’s too late.

“Failing to make minor car repairs today, such as replacing a thermostat or front brake pads, could mean more expensive repairs tomorrow,” indicates. “Other simple, but important, repair and maintenance tasks car owners can do on their own – or have a mechanic perform at an affordable price – include changing the transmission fluid; checking the coolant level, mixture, and condition, and checking the vehicle’s tire pressure on a regular basis.”

Failure to heed dashboard warning lights

Another issue for drivers that can wind up costing them significant amounts of money is ignoring dashboard warning lights.

Caution and warning indications, including the check engine light, brake light or temperature gauge, are traditionally the first sign that there may be something wrong with the engine or the car itself. By failing to take notice of them and implement the proper corrective actions, motorists are putting themselves and others at risk, as the problem may ultimately lead to an accident on the road and perhaps even a group auto insurance claim. says drivers should review their owner’s manual so they can learn what each warning light means and then address each issue as soon as possible.

Not being clear about problem

Unless people know their way around a car, having vehicle problems fixed typically involves a handyman or carcare professional.

Naturally, vehicle owners will attempt to explain what the nature of the problem is to their mechanic. All too often, however, the explanations given are too vague or don’t accurately portray what the actual issue is. This will not only result in frustration for the mechanic, but it could lead to excessive charges for the car owner, as they may perform repairs that were unneeded.

To avoid confusion, the automotive self-help website says drivers should write down everything about the problem in question, such as the type of sound they hear, what they smell, see or feel in the diagnosis process. As detailed information as possible will help the mechanic determine what the issue is and what needs to be done to correct it.

Running on empty

With gas prices high, many motorists will put off filling up their tanks for as long as possible. It’s only until their gas gauge is on or past the “E” that they fill up. However, says that doing this on a regular basis puts unnecessary stress on the vehicle’s engine.

Most of today’s newer models have fuel-injected engines that rely on gas to function properly. For instance, the electric pumps that these types of engines use require gas to cool and lubricate some of its essential components.

To prevent this from becoming an issue, the website says drivers should start to think about going to the gas station when they’re fuel level reaches a quarter of a tank. Anything less than can cause the engine to strain, potentially resulting in a significant replacement cost or the diminished life of the vehicle.

Four common things motorists do, or don’t do, that can lead to car trouble

While certain car issues may be unavoidable due to inherent malfunctions or age-related decline, most problems can be prevented.

These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.

In Quebec, Desjardins Insurance refers to Desjardins General Insurance Inc. In Ontario and Alberta, Desjardins Insurance refers to Certas Direct Insurance Company, underwriter of automobile and property insurance.

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