Car maintenance has a lot to do with bringing your vehicle to your mechanic regularly. However, it also has to do with how you use it. Habitual improper use will cause damages that could lead to bigger expenses in the long run.
To avoid spending too much on car repairs, you might need to unlearn a few things and change a few bad habits.
When it comes to maintaining your cars and trucks, there are certain dos and don’ts you need to know and understand. It’s not as hard as installing a model diesel engine kit or working on your car’s electrical system. They can be as simple as doing routine checks and making sure you always have enough fuel in the tank.
Here are a few habits that you need to get rid of to make your car last longer:
Revving on a cold engine
Most modern cars are already designed to be driven after a cold start, so there’s no point in revving the engine to warm it up. Doing so needlessly burns fuel and causes engine wear. Instead of cranking it up, let your engine settle into a fast idle first before taking off.
Driving with the tank below a quarter full
This is generally not a good habit to build. Most cars today have fuel pumps inside tanks designed to be lubricated and cooled by the fuel. Habitually running your car on empty will damage your fuel pump over time.
Braking too hard
One, hard braking is dangerous when you’re on the road. Understandably, there will be times that it is required to avoid accidents, but if you’re used to braking hard, this means that you’re either not paying attention to road signs or you’re driving too fast most of the time. Two, it wears out your braking system a lot faster compared to smooth braking. And three, it can cause vehicular accidents as hard braking causes cars to lose control or tip over.
Although this doesn’t necessarily heavily damage your car, driving downhill on neutral does consume more fuel than having it in gear. It also tends to eat up your brake pads more since you can only control the vehicle using your brakes. And since you have less control over your vehicle when you coast downhill, it is harder to avoid a crash.
Riding your brakes
On the other hand, many motorists also like to use their brakes excessively on downhill drives. This causes your brakes to wear out a lot faster. Instead of doing this, shift to a lower gear when going downhill. This gives you better control of your car when going down slopes.
Shifting to reverse with the car still moving forward (and vice versa)
One other bad habit that many drivers have is getting their cars going in opposite directions abruptly. Shifting to reverse while the car is still in motion going forward (or vice versa) sends mixed signals to its transmission, gearbox, and engine.
Speeding over speed bumps
We understand the name might confuse some, but speed bumps are not built for vehicles to speed over. On the contrary, they are designed to slow you down for safety. Whenever motorists disregard them, they produce unnecessary wear-and-tear on the suspension. It also presents road hazards if you speed through them, especially where there’s heavy vehicular and foot traffic.
Using the clutch as a footrest
Automatic vehicles have already become the norm, but if you’re still driving a stick shift, you better not use the clutch as your footrest while you’re on the road. Doing this wears out the clutch a lot faster than you would want.
Ignoring unusual noises and smells
If you hear or smell anything unusual from your car, don’t ignore it. Have it checked immediately to find out if there is damage to your vehicle. Ignoring a grinding sound could mean compromising your bearings or transmission. Pay attention to your car and do something about it so that the damage doesn’t get worse.
Not going for regular maintenance
And lastly, skipping your regular car maintenance. This means check-ups, change oils, and other routine car maintenance stuff your vehicle needs to run smoothly. If you think routine car maintenance costs money, wait until you bring your car to your mechanic for bigger and more expensive damages.
Taking good care of your vehicle isn’t just about bringing it to the shop for regular check-ups and repairs. It has a lot to do with how you use it and give it the love and attention it needs. Unlearn the bad habits such as the ones listed above and build good ones. If you take good care of it, it will serve you well.