While safety is at the top of the list any time you go behind the wheel, keeping your car in good working order plays a major role in getting you from one location to another reliably and safely. Scheduled maintenance and periodic inspections are the best way to prevent costly repairs.
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But even with regular checks, there are times when something might go wrong with a car. When this occurs, two things come to mind: how bad the problem really is, and how much it’s going to cost to fix it. While having a safe vehicle is a priority, there are a few repairs that don’t require immediate attention.
Under the Hood and Exterior
Fluid leaks can be a symptom of an impending problem. A small drip may be the first sign of a compromised oil pan seal, valve cover gaskets, timing cover seal, or loose bolts. Schedule a maintenance check to know if an immediate repair is on the agenda. A significant puddle of fluid means the issue has escalated and should be checked immediately.
Hoses and belts can wear out over time. This comes with age, weather, and normal wear and tear. While a split, hole, or tear has to be repaired immediately, visible signs of dryness and/or the potential for cracking are signs these items will need to be changed in the near future.
Sometimes a tire loses air because of a small puncture. Getting the tire patched is an easy way to escape the cost of a new replacement tire, especially if the tire in question still has a lot of useful tread.
Since a horn is your way of alerting other drivers or pedestrians, if it stops functioning it’s in your best interest to have it repaired as soon as possible, but the fact it isn’t working does not affect the functionality of the vehicle’s inner workings.
Everyone desires to ride in comfort, but should the air conditioning unit fail, you can hold off on repairs.
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A heating system failure is on the same level as the air conditioner. You can wait to have it fixed.
The motor that runs a power seat can malfunction or completely fail. Unless you’re not able to drive the car safely with the seat in its “frozen” position, you can hold off on an immediate repair.
Illumination inside the vehicle is helpful, but not a requirement. If the overhead light stops working, it may only be a fuse issue.
For many vehicles, the driver’s side window has a control panel to manipulate each window. If the motor fails, the window will be stuck in its current position. If the window is rolled all the way up, you can wait to have the motor changed. If the window is rolled down or is partially open, the glass would need to be manually pulled to the “up” position.
Unless the headliner is drooping and interfering with your ability to see road clearly through each window, repair or replacement at a future date is an option.
Gadgets and Accessories
Along with the air conditioner and heater, the radio, DVD player, GPS system, cigarette lighter, video recorders/dash cams, Bluetooth connectivity kits, data ports, radar detectors, or any other accessory don’t need an immediate repair.
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Power Seat Heater
This is a nice addition especially during the winter months, but it is a repair that can also wait.
Use the owner’s manual to learn about the areas of your cars and the maintenance checks recommended by the manufacturer. The make, model, and year of your vehicle is vital as to how often it needs to be checked. Newer vehicles may not have the same need or as many areas to check as an older car, so keep this in mind when creating your own checklist.