Buying a car is far easier when compared to maintaining it because there are many responsibilities associated with vehicle ownership that are necessary to keep your car running for you. Most cars come with a warranty that cover the cost of repairing parts that break down before their estimated life cycle but can you really rely just on that and ignore the signs your car has been giving? Well not!

The first and foremost thing that you should be very clear about is to know that warranties aren’t insurance. If a part breaks because of accidental damage, it will not be covered under a warranty in most cases. Warranties do, however, cover the cost of a repair when a part wears out with ordinary use. So as a vehicle owner you still have responsibility to ensure any repairs needed aren’t because of negligence.

Almost every car owner with any time behind the wheel knows that you have to maintain your ride. There are oil changes and tire rotations to be done, and most of us know we can’t take our wheels to a racetrack for some hot laps and then expect the car manufacturer to foot the bill when we blow an axle. But automakers, like insurance companies, expect us to take reasonable action and steps to mitigate any damage when something goes wrong.

For example: If you are driving your three-year-old sedan on a warm summer day and a warning light or two appears on the dash, but everything seems normal. Should you stop and check or wait until the engine starts to stumble and then suddenly stalls? To be honest, you should first roll it to the side of the road, let the engine cool down and then try to restart. If it doesn’t, call road-side assistance to tow the vehicle to an independent repair shop.

In case the mechanics discover the engine has been badly overheated, and if car is still under the terms of its powertrain warranty, tow it to the nearest authorized dealership. It is likely that if your engine has been damaged beyond repair from overheating, the vehicle manufacturer, will deny any coverage and you will be left with a hefty bill to be paid.

So in order to avoid this kind of situation, listen to the first signs your car is giving and don’t damage it due to sheer negligence. To protect your investment and your wallet, when something seems wrong, call your service provider to ask for advice. They might not be able to diagnose your problem over the phone, but at least they can arm you with enough knowledge to take steps to avoid further damage. And they’ll know you’ve done the right thing.