We all remember the basics of maintaining a car. Keep the tires inflated. Keep the gas tank full. Keep the windshield clean. But here are a few other common car problems that you should not overlook. Resolving them will keep your car running smoothly for years to come.

Misaligned Tires

Uneven tire wear can cause the alignment of a car to go out of true. If your car seems to drift to the left or right as you drive, then it’s a good bet that you need a tire alignment. Ignoring the problem will only lead to even greater problems with the steering components of your car. Misaligned tires will also reduce your gas mileage, and they can wear down tires unevenly and increase your risk of a blow-out and accident.

Catalytic Converter

Catalytic converters transform three harmful compounds in your exhaust – hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides – into harmless carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen and oxygen. If the fuel doesn’t completely burn during the combustion process, the excess will move into the exhaust system and contact the hot core of the catalytic converter, eventually destroying it. Some common reasons for a melted catalytic converter include bad spark plugs, incorrect oxygen/fuel ratio, incorrect timing and a bad oxygen sensor.

5 Common Car Problems You Shouldn't Overlook

Bad Transmission Fluid

The contamination or breakdown of your vehicle’s transmission fluid can go on with no visible effect until the moment your entire transmission blows. Transmission repair is one of the most costly repairs you could have with your car, so an annual transmission fluid change is well worth the expense. Check your car’s manual to see what the recommendation is for the transmission fluid’s expected lifetime.

Low Oil Levels

According to the web site AutoMD, the engine problems that can result from driving with excessively low oil levels are the most costly to repair. Though modern cars do not burn through oil the way older vehicles did, you still need to be aware of the current oil level in your car. Check the oil level at least once a month. Oil can also break down and become useless as an engine lubricant, so change the oil or have it changed every 3000 to 5000 miles.

Worn-out Suspension

“Shocks and struts” dissipate the kinetic energy your car acquires from driving over bumps, potholes and bad roads. Once those components go, you immediately notice the loss of comfort. It’s more than comfort, however, that’s compromised by a worn-out suspension. All of your car’s systems suffer from the additional wear and tear put on them by a bad suspension. Whether you go to Speedy Brake and Apollo Muffler in Calgary, a Jiffy Lube near you or do it in your own garage, you should replace the car struts and suspension components at least every 50,000 miles, and more often if you travel a lot on bad roads.

Yes, all this maintenance will cost you cash. But, when it comes to your car, it is much better to spend a little bit now than a whole lot more later. Check out your car now for these four car problems and you’ll be able to drive your car much longer and with a greater peace of mind.