Sacramento and Elk Grove Auto Repair

Car Care Guide

Six Ways You Could be Killing Your Car

September 7, 2016

Owning a car can be a dream or a nightmare depending on how well you take care of your vehicle, says the non-profit Car Care Council. The following are six things that many motorists do that can harm their car and their wallet.

  1. Ignoring the check engine light. Ignoring an illuminated check engine light can result in serious engine trouble and costly repairs. At the very least, this warning light could alert you to an engine problem that is negatively impacting fuel economy.
  1. Failing to change fluids and filters.Many fluids are required for the operation and protection of vehicle systems and components. Checking fluid levels regularly, along with the filters, helps ensure that your vehicle runs dependably and extends vehicle life.
  1. Neglecting your tires. Your vehicle’s tires should be checked frequently for inflation and tread depth. Underinflated tires can wear out more quickly, needing to be replaced sooner, and can negatively impact safety, gas mileage and performance.
  1. Not following a service schedule. Because many car parts and components wear out or become damaged over time, vehicles need to be routinely serviced in order to perform optimally. Routine inspections and timely repairs will help keep your car running efficiently and will help you avoid more expensive repairs down the road.
  1. Keeping a dirty car. Allowing your car to go too long without a wash leads to buildup of damaging chemicals and dirt, increases the potential for rust from road salt and interferes with proper visibility needed for safe driving.
  1. Being a severe driver. Whether it’s stop-and-go traffic, extreme weather, rough roads or heavy loads, it can sometimes be difficult to limit severe driving conditions. However, you can drive smart and improve fuel economy by observing the speed limit; avoiding aggressive driving, including quick starts and stops; not hauling unnecessary items; and keeping your vehicle properly tuned.

“Because auto care isn’t always a top priority for car owners, they might not realize they are doing things that adversely affect the performance, safety and value of their car,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Routine maintenance can go a long way toward saving money, avoiding headaches and protecting your vehicle investment.”

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For the latest car care news, visit the council’s online media room at To order a free copy of the popular Car Care Guide, visit the council’s consumer education website at

This short video explains the five most common mistakes car owners make and provides simple tips for avoiding them.

Drive with your brakes metal to metal: you don’t want to do this because it will damage your rotors. If your brakes make noise, it’s time to see a mechanic.

  1. Drive with your brakes metal to metal: you don’t want to do this because it will damage your rotors. If your brakes make noise, it’s time to see a mechanic.
  2. Not replace cracked belts: If a cracked belt breaks, you can lose power steering and your car can overheat.
  3. Not change your timing belt: Not changing your timing belt at the manufacturers’ recommended time will bend valves, your engine will lose timing, and you will need an engine rebuild. Make sure you change your timing belt when recommended by your cars manufacturer!
  4. Ignore your check engine light: It’s so easy to do! But this will certainly create more pollution, and decrease your MPG. And with rising gas prices, you definitely want to get the most out of your mileage!
  5. Ignore manufacturer recommended maintenance. Things like changing your fuel filter, air filter, spark plugs, oil changes, and topping off your fluids are key to increasing the life of your vehicle. Ignoring these things will cause:

Have YOU ever been sick? Ever showed up in the emergency room Friday night or tried to schedule a doctors appointment last minute?

Prestige Auto Works is like a doctors office for your vehicle. As I write this blog, I’m sitting in the doctors office with my son, two days after calling to let them know I don’t think he’s feeling quite right and want to have him checked before anything worse happens. Luckily we got in, still one person ahead of us. We have been here almost an hour now and still haven’t seen the doctor. Pretty typical on most occasions. I really wasn’t expecting to be seen the minute we walked in at 8:30 a.m. Sound familiar?

Luckily people are self healing, somewhat…

Even though we are in a technologically advanced society, we still don’t have self healing cars. Most people don’t understand that actually it is quite the opposite. I was just asking my seven year old son last night if he knew what the snow ball effect was, and I had to explain: once something happens there is a multiplying effect…

Ever “just had a check engine light on, but everything runs fine”? I have heard that line a lot! There are thousands of reasons the check engine light will come on. Once it is on you won’t know when more codes are added on. One thing leads to another. A drip here can damage that, a rattle there can loosen this, once it starts leaking it only gets worse, and I could be referring to dozens of different things in this one sentence.

How long do you want to live? How long do you want your car to be reliable? Sometimes little things can lead to big things if not taken care of by a professional right away.

April and October are National Car Care months. When you bring your vehicle in for service we perform basic safety inspections and will mention any concerns we have. If you ever have questions or want to learn more about regular maintenance and caring for your vehicle you can ask the service adviser.

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