Auto repairs can come up when you least expect them, but your attention to car care can really change how fast the transmission, clutch or brakes wear out.
In many cases, safe driving for your car is also good for your health because it's safer. Below are a few tips on avoiding these bad habits so your car works better and lasts longer.
Don't Drive Too Fast
It can be a thrill to race down the freeway, passing all the slower cars and proving your handling prowess as you weave through the lanes and around the curves. However, driving too fast can be bad for your engine. Our engine professionals at Christian Brothers in Arlington, TX say that most trucks and cars perform ideally at between 40 and 60 mph. If you go faster, your engine will burn more gas or diesel fuel mile by mile and your transmission may not be able to keep up. Also, operating at top capacity means extra stress throughout the engine, and that can cause early wear. In the end, driving at posted speed limits is the perfect way to show off that you're a proud car owner.
Don't Abuse the Transmission
Shifting is a big deal. We'll just cover a few of the ways you're driving can affect the transmission. First, don't ever move to park or reverse while your car is still moving. Next, don't go into park and head off without putting on the parking brake. If you do, all the weight of your auto will be resting against the transmission. For stick shifts, be careful to remove your foot from the clutch when you aren't shifting. These easy things could save you cash in the long run.
Don't Drive Aggressively
It's not a race. One of the most obvious reasons not to drive too fast, of course, is that this bad habit is unsafe. But furthermore, slamming the gas pedal at lights and then braking hard is difficult on your brakes, engine and transmission. It's only natural to show off a fast auto, but true car lovers know that this can be harmful to your vehicle.
Don't Idle or Rev
If you've read our blog, you know our expert advice on idling. It's also unwise 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. Going straight from cold to hot isn't good anyway.
Keep the Tank Half Full
You should know about a couple of ways that draining your engine of fuel or keeping the tank low is unwise. Sediment in gas settles on the bottom of your fuel tank, so when it's almost empty your fuel pump has to push the grit through the fuel lines. This causes buildup and can also cause your car to work extra hard. Furthermore, fuel in the tank actually helps cool the fuel pump, making it work better. If you don't have enough fuel in your gas tank, your fuel pump could get hot and wear out easily.
Avoid Really Slow Acceleration
For safety and a higer mpg, realize that it's not a good idea to accelerate more slowly than traffic. Some drivers have been taught not to “jackrabbit” at start, and the general principle is a good one. But getting going too slowly stops your car from reaching optimal speed and can make the transmission and engine work extra hard. The best idea is to drive with traffic.
Get Your Vehicle Checked at Christian Brothers
In addition to driving wisely, keep your ride clean from the exterior to the interior. You should also be careful to check the oil, the tires and the lights regularly. And every so often, bring your car or truck in to your Arlington Christian Brothers repair shop for a diagnostic and analysis.