Poor driving habits themselves can destroy your car or truck, and that's true even if your bad driving doesn't cause a crash that totals the vehicle. Read the advice from our expert auto repair team below.
Avoid Really Slow Acceleration
For safety and a higher mph, realize that It's silly to start driving too slowly. 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 auto from reaching normal driving conditions and can put wear on the transmission and engine. The best idea is to drive with traffic.
Keep the Tank Half Full
There are at least three reasons not to drive close to empty, and only one of them involves running out of gas. One of the other reasons is that sediment in gas settles on the bottom of your gas tank, so when the level is low your engine has to send that grit through the engine. This causes buildup and can also cause your engine to work a little harder than necessary. Also, gas or diesel in the tank helps cool the part that pumps fuel, making it more efficient. If you have too little, your fuel pump could overheat and wear out more quickly.
Don't Sit and Idle or Rev
We have written about engine idling in a previous blog, and the long and short of it is that you should avoid idling for more than about 60 seconds. It's also not great to rev your engine while stopped, especially if you're doing so with a cold engine. If you do, the engine oil won't circulate properly and the catalytic convertor won't start working. Extreme temperature shifts are also a problem.
Don't Drive Aggressively
You're not Vin Diesel from “The Fast and the Furious.” One of the most obvious reasons not to drive too fast is that this behavior is far more likely to cause a wreck. But furthermore, peeling out at lights and slamming on the brakes is taxing on your engine, your transmission, your suspension system and your brakes. It's clear why you want to show off a fast auto, but true car lovers know that trying to show off too much will be destructive down the road.
Don't Abuse the Transmission
There are several instances in which inattentive shifting behavior can wreck your transmission or, for that matter, your clutch. First, don't ever move to park or reverse while your car is still moving. Next, don't shift into park and head off without putting on the parking brake. If it so happens that you do, your whole car will rest against the transmission. For manual transmission vehicles, be careful to remove your foot from the clutch between shifting. These easy tricks could save you cash in the long run.
Don't Push the Speed Limit
It can be a thrill to race down the highway, passing all the slowpokes and experiencing tight handling as you get through the lanes and around the curves. However, driving this way can wreck the engine, and the car. Our auto team at Christian Brothers in Knoxville says that most trucks and cars perform best at between 40 and 60 mph. If you drive faster than that, your engine will burn more gas per mile driven 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 it to wear out more quickly. Driving at the limit is the perfect way to display your pride.
Call us for an Engine Check
Drive with the right habits to keep your car or truck clean from the exterior to the interior. You should also be careful to check the lights, oil and tires regularly. And at regular intervals, bring your car or truck in to your Knoxville Christian Brothers location for a pro checkup.