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Ignoring Warning Lights

It's pretty easy to get desensitized to those dashboard warning lights.

(Martin Hospach/Getty Images)

Warning lights are kind of like the little boy who cried wolf -- you know you need an oil change, but that check engine light comes on all the time, right? The sad truth is this: It's pretty easy to get desensitized to those dashboard warning lights. A lot of the time, there's really nothing wrong ... or at least, you think you know what's wrong and you'll get around to it -- eventually. There's nothing wrong with getting to know your car this way. In fact, it's good. But when your car is trying to tell you something, you really should listen, even if you'd really rather not hear what its saying. And that's exactly what warning lights are for. Conundrum!

At the very least, you should know what all the warning indicators mean -- if one comes on and it's not familiar to you, look it up in your owner's manual. If it's something you can easily fix yourself (low tire pressure would be a good example), go do it. Sooner is better than later. See? You fixed it! How satisfying! And if a warning light indicates something more complicated is going on, it's a good idea to have your car looked at by a professional. Becoming immune to your car's cries for help might be less expensive in the short run, but definitely not in the long run.

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