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The Most Common Car Maintenance Mistake, According to Your Mechanic

A AAA Approved Auto Repair mechanic gives tips on how to avoid major car damage with regular maintenance.

Proper car maintenance goes far beyond an annual inspection. It requires being proactive and regularly checking the condition of your car, not just when you have to or when you think there is a problem.

The detriment of neglecting car care is twofold. Improper maintenance can decrease the longevity and performance of your vehicle. Additionally, minor problems that could have easily been fixed can turn into major issues that require extensive – and expensive – repairs.

We spoke with mechanic Mario Cipriano from AAA Approved Auto Repair facility Mezzio Auto & Body Repair in Naugatuck, Conn., for his tips on proper car maintenance.

What is the biggest car maintenance myth or misconception?

I believe one of the biggest vehicle maintenance misconceptions is that the max tire pressure on the tire is the manufacture recommended tire pressure. The true recommended tire pressure is on the tire placard usually located on the driver’s door jam. I have also seen the tire placard on the three other door jams and even the inside of the fuel door.

What’s the most common mistake people make in regards to keeping their car in good shape?

The most common car maintenance mistake I notice is drivers failing to keep the correct fluid levels in their vehicles. At least once a day we see a vehicle with low coolant or engine oil that does not register on the dipstick. Major engine damage can occur if proper coolant and oil levels are not maintained.

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What are your best tips for keeping your car in the peak condition?

My best tip is to get it serviced and inspected three to four times a year. The inspection should include checking the wipers/washer system, belts, hoses, fluids, filters, tires, starting/charging systems, steering, suspension, external lights, undercarriage, leaks and diagnosing any warning lights that appear.

The season’s high winds and rough weather can wreak havoc on windshields. What is the best way to deal with a car’s cracked windshield?

The best way to deal with a cracked windshield is to get it replaced by a qualified technician. Even a small crack will jeopardize the structural integrity of your windshield.

With spring approaching, are there any particular car maintenance tasks people should complete as winter comes to a close?

When heading into spring you should pay closer attention when inspecting the steering and suspension, and perform a four-wheel alignment. Wiper blades should be replaced too. Also, getting your vehicle thoroughly cleaned inside and out is important. Then touch up any new chips in the paint. Finally, a good coat of wax or ceramic coating should be applied.

For the best car care, find a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility near you.

What automotive questions do you have for our mechanics? Let us know in the comments below.


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