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Getting your first pickup truck is exciting, but new owners often make common mistakes that lead to lower performance and pricey repairs. Fortunately, knowing what not to do enables you to enjoy your truck for the long haul. Here are 10 things to avoid when you buy your first pickup truck.

Not checking your alignment

You should regularly check your alignment to ensure that your truck drives straight. Misalignment can cause accidents, wear down the tires, and put stress on your suspension. This is especially true if you use your truck to haul heavy loads or tow a boat or trailer.

Cutting the exhaust pipe

Throughout the years, this popular modification gives trucks a loud, intimidating sound. However, as Hot Cars reports, cutting your exhaust pipe is against the law, and it can ruin your truck’s performance; both your gas mileage and horsepower will take a hit.

Not learning how to drive stick

If you get a truck with a manual transmission but you don’t know how to drive it properly, you can cause lasting damage to your engine. Ask an experienced friend or family member to give you some pointers so you can enjoy your truck damage-free.

Driving with a cracked windshield

While a tiny chip or crack may not seem like a big deal, ignoring it can lead to expensive repairs later. If you catch a chip early, you won’t have to replace the whole windshield; wait too long, and temperature shifts can significantly worsen even the smallest crack. You can also be ticketed for driving with a damaged windshield.

Not checking your tires

It’s easy to overlook the importance of inspecting your tires, but performing ongoing maintenance will keep your truck running efficiently. If your tires begin to wear unevenly, it can signal a larger problem with the suspension. Inspecting your tires regularly can help you avoid bigger problems in the future.

Adding a lift kit

While it may look cool, a lift kit exposes your truck’s axles, ultimately causing damage. Additionally, these kits add weight to your truck, reducing its power and preventing it from performing as well as it should.

Keeping a messy interior

Maintaining a clean interior allows you to sell your truck at a better price in the future. Additionally, modern trucks come with a whole host of gadgets, from radios to expensive touchscreen displays. Procrastinating on cleaning messes and spills can damage these electronics, cautions Hot Cars.

Ignoring your dash

Similar to ignoring your tires, ignoring the warning lights on your dashboard can cause long-term issues. These lights alert you to problems that you have no other way of noticing; listen to them and get your truck checked out as soon as you can.

Not washing it

Even if you’re paying close attention to the inner workings of your truck, the outside can experience wear and tear. Show your truck’s exterior some love. This isn’t just about vanity; the paint job protects it against every car owner’s nightmare: rust. Washing your truck regularly removes dirt, debris, and salt, therefore protecting the paint.

Not driving it enough

This may seem counterintuitive, but letting your truck sit tucked away in a garage can actually cause a good amount of damage. The full weight of the truck can begin to cause flat spots in the wheels after a while, and the gas may go stale. To avoid these problems and ensure that the battery stays charged, drive your truck regularly.