Most People Ignore These Cheap Maintenance Jobs, and It's Bankrupting Them

Some of these are so cheap and easy, it's ridiculous to ignore them.
Written by Jim Belt in Cars

Many people are slackers when it comes to basic car maintenance. Sure, changing your oil or replacing an air filter isn't as exciting as cracking open a cold one in the garage.

But you know what's even worse?

Shelling out thousands for repairs that could've been avoided with a little cheap upkeep.

We're talking about those tiny neglected jobs that somehow morph into monster-sized bills - brake pads, timing belts, coolant flushes. That boring stuff most conveniently "forget" leads to wake-up calls like paying to rebuild an entire engine!

10. Neglecting to Replace Wiper Blades

You know that annoying screech every time you turn on the wipers? Yep, that's the sound of wiper blades begging for replacement. But hey, they're cheap - like $20 for a new pair. So why risk scratching up that pretty windshield and shelling out over $300 for a new one?

9. Skipping Oil Changes

Avoiding oil changes is like avoiding showers - eventually, things get pretty gross. And just like avoiding showers makes you stinky, skipping oil changes makes your engine smell...burnt. An oil change is only $25-$50, but driving around with sludge for oil can wreck your engine to the tune of $5,000+. Talk about an expensive hot mess!

8. Ignoring Tire Pressure

Tire pressure is kind of like the Goldilocks of car maintenance - not too high, not too low. Under or over-inflated tires waste gas, cause uneven wear, and make handling scary. Checking the pressure is free, but a full set of new tires will cost you $400-$800. That's a lot of dough just for ignoring a little gauge!

7. Failing to Replace Air Filters

Hear that wheezing sound? That's your engine gasping for air through a clogged filter. Replacing the filter is like $20 and takes two minutes, but running with a blocked airflow can rob power, guzzle gas, and potentially lead to expensive engine repairs. Don't make your poor ride wheeze like an 80-year-old smoker!

6. Not Checking Brake Pads

Brakes are kind of know, for not crashing into stuff. Letting brake pads wear down is just asking for problems, from costly rotor replacements to full brake overhauls over $1,000. New pads are $100-$300, so ignoring them is like buying a front row seat to the Demolition Derby.

5. Postponing Coolant Flushes

Coolant is like the AC for your engine on a hot summer day - it keeps everything chill. Skipping coolant flushes ($100-$200) turns your engine into a rusty, overheated mess just waiting to croak. Five grand for a new engine is a hell of a price to pay for some $20 fluid!

4. Delaying Timing Belt Replacement

The timing belt is like the conductor keeping all your engine's moving parts in sync. When it snaps, it's total chaos - think $2,000+ worth of repairs. Replacing it on schedule ($500-$1,000) is a bargain compared to picking up the pieces after it lets go.

3. Ignoring Strange Noises or Warning Lights

When your car starts making weird noises or dashboard lights pop on, it's trying to tell you something's wrong. Ignoring it is like ignoring a text from your significant other - minor issue now, huge fight later. Addressing problems early can save you thousands down the road.

2. Not Replacing Worn Tires

Bald tires have about as much traction as a drunk guy on roller skates. Seriously, driving on them is just begging for a costly run-in with a guardrail or another car. $400-$1,000 for a new set is a steal compared to bodywork that'll cost $3,000+. Those baldies have got to go!

1. Avoiding Required Services

Manufacturers spell out recommended services for a reason - ignoring them is basically just flipping them the bird. Skipping oil changes, tuneups, flushes and so on will void that warranty real quick and just demolish expensive stuff like engines and transmissions. A $5,000 overhaul makes that $200 service look like a steal!