Eight things you should never do to your car

Make sure to give your car the TLC it needs.

April is National Car Care Month. As winter comes to an end, this is the perfect time to get your car ready for spring and summer road trips. You rely on your car to get you where you need to go every day, but how well can your car rely on you? To protect your car all year long, Erie Insurance has eight things you should never do:

• Put off the recommended maintenance. There’s a reason the car manufacturer gives you that little book when you buy a car. It contains important maintenance guidelines for the age and mileage of your car. By following what it says, you can keep your car running smoothly and safely – and save on having to pay for big repairs later.

• Ignore any warning lights. Most cars come with a check engine light and other warning lights. If any warning light goes off, it’s time to take your car to a qualified mechanic ASAP.

• Never change the air filter. A fresh air filter keeps your engine running smoothly and improves your car’s fuel efficiency. Most manufacturers suggest you replace your filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. (Err on the lower side if you drive in dusty conditions or in stop-and-go circumstances.)

• Never check your tires’ air levels. Not having the right tire pressure makes for unsafe driving and reduced fuel efficiency. Most vehicles list tire pressure requirements on the driver side door post so you know how much air to give your tires.

• Have an unqualified person work on your car. Take the time to find a qualified car mechanic. Keep in mind that you could qualify as “unqualified” if a repair is beyond your skill level. Check out our article on how to handle an auto repair for helpful tips on finding a qualified mechanic.

• Leave keys in the ignition of an unattended car. This is one of the easiest ways to tempt car thieves – especially during the colder months of the year.

• Run your gas tank down to empty. Doing so cuts the life of the fuel pump – and puts you at risk of running out before you get to a station.

• Rarely wash your car. A thorough wash helps preserve the exterior of your car. That can ultimately help your car retain its resale value. A good wash is especially important during winter, when road salt does a number on cars.

Another way to take good care of your car is by making sure it has the right auto insurance. The right auto insurance can protect your car if it’s in a crash, is stolen, gets hit by hail and more.

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