8 Ways You’re Putting Yourself in Danger by Not Servicing Your Vehicle Regularly

Your life may come to a halt if you are without a vehicle. Putting off a maintenance visit may seem like a wise move, particularly when money is tight and you need a car to get places. However, doing so could lead to costly repairs down the road. It might also cost you more to operate the vehicle every day if it isn’t maintained and repaired. What risks come with putting off a service visit? 

Fuel Economy

When a car isn’t properly maintained, fuel economy drops. As gas prices have risen in recent years, you want to get the most from each gallon of fuel. During a service visit, the mechanic will inflate the tires to the proper pressure, inspect the spark plugs, replace them if needed, and replace a dirty air filter. When they change the oil, they use the correct grade for the vehicle to improve fuel economy, and the mechanic inspects the fuel injectors and valves to see if they are clear. Clogged fuel injectors and valves negatively impact fuel economy. They will also complete other tasks based on what they see during this visit. 

Safety Concerns

Many car accidents are the result of poor car maintenance. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 2,600 people lose their lives each year in accidents caused by the owner’s failure to maintain their car. Another 100,000 individuals suffer debilitating injuries in these accidents, and the accidents lead to almost $2 billion in expenses. The expenses include medical expenses, property, damages, lost wages, and more. Worn-out tires cause many of these accidents while putting off a brake repair can also lead to a collision. A steering system that won’t respond to driver input and defective lights are also common causes of car accidents today. 

However, accidents are only one safety concern. Failing to maintain the vehicle could leave you stranded on the side of the road. This situation could expose you and loved ones to unsafe situations, particularly if the breakdown occurs in a remote area or an unsafe part of your city or town. 


Thirty-three percent of drivers state they have delayed having their car maintained because they could not find a convenient time to have this work done. What they aren’t considering is the amount of time it will take to have the car repaired when something breaks due to this lack of maintenance. Having the vehicle repaired may take several days, particularly if the mechanic must wait for parts to arrive. Maintaining the car may be inconvenient, but not as inconvenient as having the vehicle break down and need costly repairs that take time to complete. 

Unattractive Appearance

Drivers who maintain their vehicles care for both the interior and exterior. They worry about more than what is under the hood and pay attention to any scratches or dents on their ride. The driver addresses these areas before they worsen, as rust spots and large scratches are never appealing on a vehicle, even for the person who drives the car. 

Oil Sludge

If you don’t change the oil in your car regularly, contaminants build up. Over time, the engine oil will turn to sludge. This sludge prevents the normal flow of the oil and lead to significant damage to the engine. When the mechanic does an oil change, they look for these contaminants. They also change the oil filter, which is designed to remove dirt and debris from the oil. Short commutes are another common cause of engine sludge, as the engine never reaches the optimal operating temperature. Cold engine temperatures contribute to the development of this sludge. 

Higher Repair Bills

Drivers often look at routine maintenance as an additional cost, one they cannot afford regularly. Putting off this maintenance shortens the lifespan of the engine and can lead to costly repairs because the engine is under stress. Normal wear and tear can damage components and systems. If a repair in one system isn’t made promptly, other systems might fail. With each one that breaks, you can expect to pay more at the auto repair shop. 

Resale Value

A lack of maintenance hurts the resale value of the vehicle. Potential buyers worry that the car will need multiple repairs soon after they purchase it, so they choose to buy a car that has a detailed maintenance history. If a buyer remains interested in the vehicle, they will probably ask the seller to take a lower price. The money they will save by paying the lower price can be used to make necessary repairs in the coming months. If the seller is unwilling to lower the price, they might have a difficult time selling the car. They can trade it in, again getting a lower price than they wanted, or turn it over to a junk car company. 

Vehicle Warranty

Vehicle manufacturers typically sell their cars with warranties. A driver may feel they don’t need to worry about maintaining the car because the manufacturer will pay for any repairs that are needed while the warranty is in effect. However, the manufacturer often puts in the fine print that the driver must service the car regularly. If they don’t, the manufacturer has the right to void it. The owner is then responsible for paying for any repairs that are needed, including those that would have been covered by the warranty had they maintained the car. 

The easiest way to keep a vehicle running while maintaining its resale value is to complete regular maintenance. Vehicle owners may do many of these tasks on their own, but a mechanic is needed to handle quite a few of them. While there is a cost associated with having the vehicle professionally maintained, this cost is much lower than one will pay for repairs. Furthermore, the mechanic is trained to spot problems early, ones a driver might overlook, so they can be corrected before they escalate. Make an appointment to have your car serviced today so you won’t have these worries. You’ll know the vehicle is in good running shape.