I know what you’re thinking based on this title: a vehicle inspection every six months is overkill. I’m with you. In fact, two years ago I would’ve been saying the exact same thing if I came across an article with this same title. But, let me tell you what happened to me that changed my tune…
Just over two years ago, I moved here to Rockville, MD from a small town in Minnesota. There, a vehicle inspection is not required (unless something has changed since I moved away). I remember learning that, here in Maryland, the state requires a yearly vehicle inspection, lest a driver want to forfeit their registration to drive and face fines… I wasn’t a happy girl. This was just one more thing to add to my list of responsibilities.
I know. I’m a whiner.
Well, I got my vehicle inspection at Rockville, MD an auto repair shop my uncle recommended, Preferred Automotive. They were great. I was in and out of there in about 40 minutes and I inwardly celebrated my accomplishment and sighed to myself that I had a whole year without having to read a magazine for 40 minutes while my car’s safety was scrutinized.
Eight months later my car started showing signs of problems. It still worked just fine, so I ignored it. I chalked it up to a “small issue” that I would address at my next oil change. Again, I couldn’t be bothered to take 40 minutes of extra time to have it checked out, especially after I had just had my wheels realigned from hitting a sizeable pothole.
Boy, do I wish I could go back in time and choose differently.
You see, the temperature gauge was running a bit high one day on a long drive. I didn’t think much of it and decided “that must just be because it had been running for hours.” (That’s not a thing, by the way; temperature gauges don’t run high for no reason. Take note: if your temperature gauge is rising toward or into the red zone, your cooling system could be failing).
Another sign I ignored was an antifreeze leak on my driveway… I dismissed it as “condensation.” Silly.
Long story short, the first warm week of spring I got in my car to head to work—it’s a 20-minute drive. I’d been ignoring these signs for three months. I was in stop-and-go traffic, and I saw my temperature gauge bouncing up and down between two-thirds of the way up and then back down to “safe zone.” About five minutes later it shot up into the red—all the way—and I smelled an odd odor (antifreeze). Immediately after, my car shut off.
Yep. I was that girl, stranded on the freeway with a dead car. Even better, there was smoke billowing out from the hood.
A couple thousand dollars later and a significantly longer visit than a 40-minute stint with a magazine at Preferred Automotive, I had a working car again. To be clear, what could’ve cost me very little cost me a small fortune.
Moral of the story: get your car inspected every six months with the pros at Preferred Automotive and protect your wallet. Happy driving!
Preferred Automotive | 12356 Wilkins Ave | Rockville, MD 20852 | 301-881-8530