Automobile manufacturers design their cars to take all sorts of abuse but there are some things that you might be doing that will shorten your vehicle’s life. I am willing to bet that several things I shall be mentioning might be new to you.
A car is one of the most valuable possessions we own. We use it often to commute and therefore it is subjected to harsh weather and road conditions. Sometimes, you might experience a lot of potholes and the other times, you might have to drive it through bumper to bumper traffic. While our car strives to deliver the best it can, there are some car damaging habits that often get away unnoticed. Today I will tell you about some habits by which you are unknowingly damaging your car. Let’s begin!
You’re shifting into drive while the car’s still rolling backwards
Few of us are without guilt on this one. When you are in a hurry and backing out of a parking spot, it’s very tempting to slide your gearshift into drive just before the car has come to a complete halt. While this isn’t a major issue when going very slow, it still stresses transmission parts. The solution is simple: when backing out of a parking spot, put your foot on the brake and allow your car to come to a complete halt. Then shift the car into drive and head out.
You’re filling your radiator with nothing but water
The coolant that you put in your car does something besides just cooling your engine; it prevents corrosion. The metals in your engine tend to react with each other because they are different elemental types (iron, steel, aluminum, etc.) and this leads to something called “galvanic corrosion”. Galvanic corrosion can ruin an engine as the years go on. Good antifreeze has special corrosion inhibitors in it to stop galvanic corrosion so use it in your cooling system.
You’re ignoring your engine’s oil
The days of changing your oil every 3000 miles are gone for most manufacturers but don’t forget that your oil needs to be changed at some point! Keep your oil topped off on the dipstick and change it according to your owner’s manual recommendations. Make sure the oil filter gets changed when the oil does too. It’s cheap insurance for your engine.
You’re not slowing down for speed bumps or potholes.
All the components in the front end of your car are precisely aligned to each other. When this alignment is disrupted, such as by a high speed drive over a speedbump or a dive into a nice deep pothole, bad things can happen. The steering can be affected and cause the car to pull to one side or your tires can start wearing unsymmetrically causing the same effect. Bottom line: avoid these road hazards to the best of your ability.
You’re ignoring unsymmetrical tire wear
If your car’s tires are wearing on one side and not the other, you likely need a wheel alignment. This is one you don’t want to put off for long because it doesn’t take long for a tire to be ruined when the alignment is off.
Riding the brake
When you are driving down a steep/slop, if you tend to use your brake pedal for long intervals, you are doing it wrong! I have seen some people put the car on neutral and simply rid the brake to get down from a steep/slope. This can severely hurt your brakes and in the worst cases, can cause them to fail too. This is the first one among the car damaging habits that go unnoticed. Instead of riding the brake, you can shift your car into a lower gear and have a control on your car’s speed.
Regular low-fuel drives
We know that the growing fuel prices are painful but does that mean your valued possession will take all the pain? Driving your car at low fuel won’t damage your car if it is done occasionally. But if you make it a habit, it can severely damage your engine, fuel pump and can also clog your filters. Feeding your car’s engine with the mucky fuel isn’t a good idea for sure. This is also one of the car damaging habits that often get away unnoticed.
Delaying your car’s service
Well, this is another bad habit that most of the people have. Delaying your car’s service is not a good habit at all. Every fluid inside your car or even the filters have got a limited lifespan. You should not delay your car’s service at all to keep it in its best shape.
Driving with low tyre pressure
Driving your car with poorly inflated tyres can cause extremely bad effects on your car. However, if you are losing the tyre pressure quite often, your car’s tyres might need to be replaced. Don’t compromise on your car’s health due to old tyres otherwise you might end up hurting the suspension badly.
Ignoring the leaks
Another one among the car damaging habits that often go unnoticed is the leaking fluid. You should carefully note your car’s fluid levels at regular intervals. If you ever notice a leak in your car, you should not ignore it at all.
Car dashboard warning lights
Another car damaging habit that most of the people ignore in fear of high expenditures is ignoring the dashboard warning lights. Remember, this is the only way how your car can inform you about a problem before it gets worse.
It’s not a healthy habit at all to revv the engine unnecessarily. Some might say that they do it to “warm up” the engine in cold weather conditions while the others might just be inspired by the racing clips they see. Well, you don’t need to race on the roads and revving your engine is really bad for the components. For “warming up” just leave it on idle and it will reach the optimum temperature really soon.
Going on the potholes
Well, we live in a country where potholes are a common sight. If you care for your car, it’s your duty to safeguard it from the ill-effects that these potholes might cause to your car’s suspension. Passing over the potholes without applying the brakes is one of the most common car-damaging habits that exist right now. This is the most simple one to overcome too. Just drive slow on roads where you suspect the potholes to be.
Which one are you guilty of? You can share your experiences with me via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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