Truck or car problems can seem very unpredictable, but the way you take care of your car can make a big difference in how fast the transmission, clutch or brakes wear out.
In many cases, the best driving for your car's health is also safer for you. Below are a few tips on avoiding these bad habits so your car works better and lasts longer.
Avoid Super Slow Acceleration
This one is primarily about fuel economy, but it may also be a matter of personal safety – there's no reason to accelerate too slowly. Some drivers have been taught not to dart off from a stop, and the general principle is a good one. But getting going at very low speeds prevents your auto from reaching optimal speed and can make the transmission and engine work extra hard. Drive at about the same speed as the cars around you.
Don't Drive on Empty
Know about 2 ways that draining your truck or car of fuel or keeping the tank low is a bad idea. Sediment in gas or diesel drops to the bottom of your fuel tank, so when it's almost empty your engine has to force that sediment through the fuel ignition system. This causes buildup and can also require your engine to work harder than usual. Furthermore, fuel in the tank actually helps cool the fuel pump, making it more efficient. If you don't have enough, your fuel pump could get hot and wear out easily.
Don't Idle or Rev
We have covered engine idling already, and the long and short of it is that you shouldn't ever idle the engine for more than about 60 seconds. It's also a bad idea to rev your engine while stopped, especially if your engine is cold. When you do, the engine oil won't circulate properly and the catalytic convertor won't start working. Going straight from cold to hot isn't good either.
Don't Drive Aggressively
It's not a race. One of the most obvious reasons not to drive too fast is that this bad habit is far more likely to cause a wreck. But also, shotgunning at intersections and then braking hard is difficult on your brakes, engine and transmission. It's clear why you want to show off a fast vehicle, but we think that you shouldn't abuse it.
Don't Abuse the Transmission
There are several instances in which inattentive shifting behavior can wear out your transmission. Don't ever change directions or park while your car is still moving. Also, don't go into park and leave the car without also putting on the parking brake. When you do, all the weight of your auto will rest against the transmission instead of the brake. For manual shifters, be careful to remove your foot from the clutch between shifting. These simple things could save you many hundreds of dollars.
Don't Push the Speed Limit
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. But realize that driving too fast can actually be hard for your engine. Our engine team at Christian Brothers in Katy says that most cars and trucks perform ideally at 40-60 mph. If you drive faster than that, the engine will use more gas or diesel mile by mile and your transmission will wear out. Also, operating at top capacity means extra stress on all the small moving parts of your engine, and that can cause it to wear out more quickly. Driving at the speed limit is the best way to show that you love your vehicle.
Come in for a Checkup
Drive with the right habits keep your auto tidy top to bottom. You should also be careful to check the tires, oil and lights often. And every so often, bring your ride in to your Katy Christian Brothers repair shop for a diagnostic and analysis.