Bad driving habits themselves can ruin your car, and that's true even if your bad driving doesn't cause a crash that totals the vehicle. Below are a few tips on avoiding these bad habits so your car works better and lasts longer.
Don't Drive Too Fast
Pushing your car to the max on the interstate can be exciting. But driving too fast can be hard for your engine. Our automobile team at Christian Brothers in Andover, MN believes that most autos perform best at forty to sixty miles per hour. If you drive at higher speeds, the engine will need more fuel mile by mile and your transmission will be pushed to the max. Also, driving that fast it means extra stress on all the small moving parts of your engine, and that can cause it to wear out more quickly. Driving at posted speed limits is a great way to show that you love your vehicle.
Don't Abuse the Transmission
There are several ways in which bad shifting behavior can wreck your transmission. We'll just cover a few of the ways. Don't ever move to park or reverse while your car is still moving. Also, don't go into park and run off without using the E brake. When you do, all the weight of your car will be resting against the transmission itself. For manual shifters, be careful to remove your foot from the clutch between shifting. These simple tricks could save you many hundreds of dollars.
Don't Race and Slam the Brakes
Don't drive like you're in an action movie. Obviously this bad habit is far more likely to cause an accident. But beyond that, shotgunning at intersections and braking hard is difficult on your brakes, engine and transmission. It's easy to understand why you want to show off a fast car, but we think that driving safely is a great way to show that you care about your vehicle.
Don't Idle or Rev
If you've read our blog, you know what our mechanics say about idling. It's also a bad idea to rev your engine while stopped, especially if you're doing so with a cold engine. If you do, oil and fluids won't circulate properly and the catalytic convertor won't function properly. Extreme temperature shifts are also a problem.
Don't Drive on Empty
There are three reasons not to drive close to empty, and only one of them involves getting stranded. One of the other reasons is that sediment in gas drops to the bottom of your fuel tank, so when the level is low your fuel pump has to push the grit through the engine. Even if this doesn't clog the lines, which it could, it does cause your car to work extra hard. Furthermore, gas or diesel in the tank helps cool the fuel pump, making it work better. If you don't have sufficient gas in the tank, your fuel pump could get too hot.
Don't Start Too Slowly
Primarily to save gas, know that it's not a good idea to start driving more slowly than traffic. Some people have been taught not to push the pedal to the metal, and the general principle is a good one. But getting going at very low speeds prevents your engine from reaching optimal speed and can make the transmission and engine work extra hard. You should probably drive at expected speeds.
Get Your Vehicle Checked at Christian Brothers
In addition to driving wisely, keep your car or truck clean top to bottom. You should also be sure to check the oil, the tires and the lights regularly. And at regular intervals, bring your auto in to your Andover Christian Brothers garage for a diagnostic and analysis.