Automobile problems can come up when you least expect them, but your attention to car care can make a big difference in things like how fast your transmission and clutch wear out, brake replacement and even premature engine failure.
In many cases, safe driving for your car's health is also good for your health. Read the advice from our experienced mechanics below.
Keep the Tank Half Full
There are three reasons not to let your fuel gauge get too close to the red line, and only one involves the risk of walking five miles carrying a red plastic gas canister. One of the other reasons is that sediment in fuel drops to the bottom of your gas tank, so when the gas is almost gone your engine has to send that grit through the engine. Even if this doesn't clog the lines, which it could, it does require your tiny engine mechanisms to work a little harder than necessary. The other reason is that for many vehicles, 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 Drive Aggressively
It's not a race. One of the most obvious reasons not to drive too fast is that this driving habit is dangerous. But furthermore, slamming the gas pedal 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 auto, but we think that you shouldn't abuse it.
Don't Drive Too Fast
Driving as fast as possible on the freeway can be thrilling. But realize that driving like this can break your car. Our auto team at Christian Brothers in Dallas advises that most cars perform ideally at between 40 and 60 mph. If you drive at higher speeds, the engine will use more fuel per mile driven and your transmission may not be able to keep up. Also, when you go so fast it means extra stress on all the small moving parts of your engine, and that can cause you to need early repairs. In the end, driving safely is the perfect way to show that you love your vehicle.
Avoid Super Slow Acceleration
Primarily to save gas, know that it's not a good idea to accelerate too slowly. Some new drivers have been taught not to dart off from a stop, and that's usually smart. But getting going extra slow prevents your auto from working as intended and can tax the engine and transmission. Drive at expected speeds to get the most out of your vehicle.
Don't Shift Improperly
There are many instances in which inattentive shifting behavior can damage your transmission or, for that matter, your clutch. We'll just go over a few of the ways. First, don't ever move to park or reverse while your car is moving. Next, don't shift into park and run off without using the E brake. If you do, your whole car will rest against the transmission. For manual transmission vehicles, be careful not to hold down the clutch when you aren't shifting. These simple habits could save you thousands.
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 your engine is cold. When you do, the engine will not become lubricated safely and the catalytic converter won't work. Extreme temperature shifts are also a problem.
Come in for a Checkup
In addition to driving wisely, keep your ride tidy from the exterior to the interior. You should also be careful to check the oil, the tires and the lights often. And every so often, bring your auto in to your Dallas Christian Brothers shop for a diagnostic and analysis.