by Caitlin O’Donnell


  • Fix problems as soon as they arise.
  • Get your car inspected routinely to make sure brake pads, belts, hoses, etc., are all in working order.
  • Read the owner’s manual before attempting to fix something.
  • Get an oil change as often as the manual recommends.


  • Forget to rotate the tires or ignore the low air pressure light. Keeping tires rotated and fully inflated prevents wear and tear.
  • DIY repairs you are not confident in or hire the cheapest mechanic you can find.
  • Use the wrong oil.
  • Let your car get too low on gas. Doing so can damage the fuel pump.
  • Wait to fix simple things, like a burned-out headlight or an ineffective windshield wiper. Even the smallest neglect can increase your chances of being in an accident.