Car problems can come up when you least expect them, but the way you take care of your car can make a big difference in how fast the transmission, clutch or brakes wear out.
Poor driving habits themselves can destroy your car, and that's true even if you don't crash. Below are a few tips on avoiding these bad habits so your car works better and lasts longer.
Don't Accelerate Too Slowly
This one is primarily about fuel economy, but it may also be a matter of personal safety – It's silly accelerate so slowly that you risk the anger of your fellow road warriors. Some new drivers have been taught not to dart off from a stop, and the general principle is a good one. But getting going too slowly stops your auto from reaching optimal speed and can put wear on the transmission and engine. You should probably drive at expected speeds.
Don't Drive on Empty
You should know about a couple of ways that draining your auto of fuel or keeping the tank low is unwise. Sediment in gas or diesel settles on the bottom of your tank, so when the level is low your fuel pump has to send that grit through the fuel lines. This might cause a clog and will also make your engine work extra hard. Also, gas in the tank helps cool the fuel pump, making it work better. If you have too little, your fuel pump could get hot and wear out easily.
Don't Rev the Engine or Idle for Too Long
If you've read our blog, you know our expert advice on idling. It's also a bad idea to rev your engine, 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 Stop and Start Too Quickly
It's not a race. Obviously this driving habit is dangerous. But furthermore, shotgunning at stoplights 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 true car lovers know that showing off breaks cars.
Don't Shift Like a Novice
It can be tricky to handle the transmission properly. We'll just cover some of the ways that bad shifting habits can have a negative impact on your transmission. Don't ever move to park or reverse while your car is still moving. Next, don't go into park and run off without using the E brake. When you do, the whole vehicle's weight will rest against the transmission itself. For stick shifts, be careful not to hold down the clutch between shifting. These simple habits could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Don't Drive Too Fast
Pushing your car to the max on the interstate can be thrilling. But realize that driving too fast can actually be bad for your engine. Our auto professionals at Christian Brothers in Maumelle, AR say that most autos perform ideally at 40-60 mph. If you drive faster than that, your engine will burn more fuel per mile driven and your transmission may not be able to keep up. Also, when you go that fast it means extra stress on all the small moving parts of your engine, and that can cause you to need early repairs. Driving safely is a great way to display your pride in your vehicle.
Come in for a Checkup
In addition to driving wisely, keep your ride tidy inside and out. You should also be sure to check the lights, oil and tires regularly. And every so often, bring your car or truck in to your Maumelle Christian Brothers shop for a pro checkup.