The once annoying ‘check engine’ light has now simply become a staple of your car, just like the steering wheel or the radio. While at first you may have thought there was a legitimate issue, after 8 months of it being on and nothing explicitly seeming wrong, you become resigned to the fact that the light acts as nothing more than a symbol of deceit.
So do you actually need to go the mechanic? Does your car really need repair? Maybe, or maybe not.
Yes! The intensely uncommitted answer you were searching for. Although the truth is, that light could mean that the fuel cap is loose, or it could mean you’re driving a ticking time bomb. It is worth deciphering which of the two it is (or if it’s something else).
6 Month Checks
Before we go any further, we will say, we advise you to do the 6 month mechanic check and general maintenance. There are numerous reasons that one should do this.
Firstly, your car might seem okay, but it could have a severe issue that means it is very close to breaking down or disintegrating, an issue that you will only noticed after it has happened.
Secondly, there’s a bunch of basic functions in your car that should be checked and tweaked so your car doesn’t fall into disrepair and performs at its best.
What Can You Do Yourself?
While we suggest that you service your car every 6 months, you don’t need to hop on over to the mechanic every time the ‘check engine’ light comes on.
Firstly check the fuel cap. A loose fuel cap is the reason for a little over 40% of ‘check engine lights’. Replacing it, or simply messing around with it until it is no longer loose, should be your first point of action.
Apart from this, there are a couple basics of car maintenance that you really don’t need a mechanic. After all you’re an adult with the internet, the possibilities are endless. Well not quite endless, but you can do a little bit of mechanical maneuvering.
Parts like air filters and window wipers should be replaced fairly regulars (every year or so) and doing so is very easy. They don’t require any tools or special skills, just the ability to remove an object and put a new one in its place.
What Might Happen?
A lot of people tend to ignore any issues with their car. They approach maintenance with a sort of “I’ll deal with it when the issue falls upon me” mentality.
In fact 61% of individuals between 25 and 36 avoid any sort of car repair as a way to save money. And while not paying to get your car fixed or maintained will save in the short term, it is no way to treat your car.
There are many ways deterioration might be occurring away from your sight that will lead to an unexpected break down and possible crash.
- Your brakes might be close to cutting out
- Your airbag mechanics might have unwittingly broken
- Your gearbox might be grinding, leading to an eventual breakdown
- The tires might be wearing down to a dangerous level
- Your spark plugs might being dying/ only one might be working
Vehicle maintenance is essential for your car’s performance and your safety. While there are some minor things you can do yourself, general 6 months checks keep your car in top condition and if you have any doubts or have been leaving it too long, ensure you take your car to a mechanic for car repair.