Four costly car mistakes to avoid

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 12, 2012

(BPT) – Car care is no longer defined by the season. Modern cars don’t need special attention during the winter months with the exception of changing to winter tires depending on where you live. Instead, the reliability and life of your car depends on you following good maintenance practices. Avoiding these common car care mistakes will help keep your car on the road longer.

Oil change intervals matter

Improvements in engines and motor oil have made the old standard of “3,000 miles between oil changes” no longer applicable. According to, “Under normal driving conditions, most vehicles are designed to go 7,500 miles or more between oil changes.” Check your owner’s manual for the recommended interval and oil viscosity. Consumers who want to protect their vehicle investment use premium high-performance motor oil like Royal Purple. The proprietary formulation of Royal Purple motor oils has been shown to give engines added protection and increased fuel efficiency compared to ordinary synthetic motor oils. In addition, it can allow you to double or even triple the number of miles between oil changes. This not only saves you time and money, it also reduces the impact on the environment by disposing of less oil.

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My tires look fine

Don’t ignore the air pressure in your tires until they “look like they’re low.” Consider purchasing a digital tire gauge. A good one will cost you about $15 and can be easily stored in your glove compartment. Make sure your tires are inflated to the correct pressure that is recommended by the manufacturer for proper ride and handling. These numbers can usually be found inside the driver’s door, and are based on taking readings when the tires are cold. AAA recommends that you check your tire pressure on a bi-weekly basis.

Check your coolant

The coolant in your radiator keeps the engine cool while it’s running and can keep the engine block from freezing if you live in an extremely cold climate. The most important reason to change your coolant is because over time, dirt and contaminants can build up in the fluid making it less effective. Ideally you should change your coolant every four years depending on your driving habits. In extremely hot temperatures you will want to change it more frequently. If your car manufacturer calls for a mix of coolant and water make sure you use the right proportions. Using different water to coolant ratio can change the effectiveness of the coolant. For increased protection and reduced coolant temperatures, try a coolant additive like Royal Purple’s Purple Ice. Its advanced 2-in-1 corrosion inhibitor and wetting agent provides year-round defense against corrosion.

The penny doesn’t lie

Tire blow outs can be dangerous. Not only to the driver who can lose control of the vehicle, but also for the other drivers on the road. Before your tires get to an unsafe level, check the tread. This can be done by simply taking a penny and placing in the tread with Lincoln’s head down. If you can see the top of his head, you need new tires. According to laws in most states, tires are legally worn out when they have worn down to 1/16 of an inch of remaining tread depth. Tires that have less than the minimum tread are more likely to hydroplane when rotating at highway speeds.

Taking the time to avoid these common car care mistakes can save you expensive repair bills down the road, and will help to keep your car running longer. For more information about Royal Purple’s premium synthetic automotive products, visit