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What are the top 10 most commonly ignored car repairs?

mechanic doing car repair

Car ownership requires plenty of car maintenance to ensure your car is always running properly. 

For unavoidable car breakdowns, it’s great to have a vehicle service contract (also known as an extended car warranty) to cover repairs. For breakdowns that can be avoided, it’s best to keep an eye out for problems and get them fixed as soon as possible.

Utires recently did a survey of 1,200 car owners and determined the top 10 most commonly ignored car repairs. Read along to find out what they are and why they shouldn’t be ignored.

1. Cracked windshield

Your windshield is more than just a large piece of glass for you to look through. The windshield actually helps to keep the structural strength of your car. A chipped windshield can quickly turn into a crack due to the increased pressure. Repairing a chipped windshield is an easy and quick repair so there’s no reason to let it go on like that too long.

2. Bad wheel alignment

Pulling to one side, loose steering and uneven tire wear are all signs of bad alignment. Most drivers think wheel misalignments are not a big deal, but it will damage your tires and your car and worsen your gas mileage. Always check your alignment when driving on a straight road without much traffic and get it to the repair shop for an alignment if necessary.

3. Overdue oil change

Waiting too long for an oil change will result in your smooth oil turning into sludge. This dirty build-up will force your engine to work harder. Without proper lubrication and the right heat absorption, your engine, and car, is likely to have major issues. It’s not just the loss of power that’s the problem. You could ruin your engine altogether, which will cost you thousands.

4. Worn out tires

Worn tires can cause various problems, especially when there’s bad weather conditions. The car can’t brake quickly or efficiently and there’s a big possibility that the car will hydroplane on wet roads. In general, tires that need to be placed affect your braking, steering and gas mileage, and they are more susceptible to punctures and blowouts.

5. Check engine light

The check engine light can indicate that something is going wrong with your car. Sometimes it’s something minor like a loose gas cap, but sometimes it’s a serious problem. You can’t ignore the check engine light and assume that it’s something that can wait. Check engine lights exist to warn you of a repair before it turns into a costly one.

Read our recent blog on the 5 most common check engine repairs of 2020.

6. Faulty brakes

Brakes should be checked sooner than later if you feel that they’re failing. They will sometimes just require new brake pads, which aren’t very expensive. Excessively worn out pads will wear out the rotors (which will eventually warp, ground down or crack) as well as the calipers. Faulty brakes will hurt your suspension, which will mean a major repair, and damage your tires.

7. Noise coming from the engine

You want to check the noises coming from the engine as soon as you can as they’re hardly harmless. Don’t ignore these 5 noises in particular:

  1. Clicks and taps: 

It could be a sign of low oil pressure.

  1. Knocking noises: 

It could be something related to the air-fuel mixture in your engine.

  1. Rattling and whining noises: 

It could be a worn timing belt.

  1. Squealing: 

It could be a problem with the fan belt or a sign you’re low on fluids

  1. Grinding: 

It could be a problem with the transmission or clutch system.

8. Tires continually losing air

When you have a tire that’s always losing air, then you could have a slow leak in your tire. These are caused by small vulnerabilities in the tire and are usually very difficult to spot. Slow leaks also cause only minor changes in the tire pressure, which also make it harder to detect. If you notice your tire losing air, take the tires to a professional to get them checked before it further damages your tire or leads to a blowout.

9. Not replacing windshield washer fluid

Your windshield washer fluid serves another purpose beyond just cleaning your windshield when you need it. The washer fluid also serves as a lubricant for parts of the pump. Without any washer fluid in the reservoir, the parts and plastic can corrode and degrade. Replacing windshield washer fluid is easy, so there’s no reason to not keep fluid in the reservoir at all times.

10. Burned-out headlights

Most states have laws that require you to use your headlights when it gets dark to ensure safe roads. Ignoring burned-out headlights is a huge safety risk on the road that can lead to an expensive traffic citation (up to $190) or worse: a car accident. Replacing a headlight bulb is easy and inexpensive, so be sure to replace them as soon as they burn out.

Protect yourself from expensive car repairs

Keeping an eye out for small problems with your car and getting them fixed as soon as possible will help you avoid many repairs. However, sometimes breakdowns can’t be avoided. Car parts fail overtime and it’s stressful and expensive when they do. A great aftermarket warranty for used cars will help you afford repairs as they happen. With just a low-cost monthly subscription, you have better control of your finances and forget the burden of car ownership. has created a warranty experience that is simple, trustworthy and affordable. Transforming the extended car warranty marketplace through technology and transparency, offers a full suite of worry-free, no haggle car care plans through low-cost, 100% online, monthly subscriptions that drivers can sign up for in less than five minutes. Get an instant quote today!