Automobile breakdowns can seem very unpredictable, but your attention to car care can really change things like how fast your clutch and transmission give out, how often you need to replace your brakes and even early engine failure.
Reckless driving habits themselves are a great way to prematurely ruin your auto, and that's true even if you don't wreck. Read the advice from our expert mechanics below.
Don't Speed on the Freeway
Pushing your car to the max on the interstate can be a rush. But driving this way can wreck the engine, and the car. Our engine professionals at Christian Brothers in Roanoke, TX believe that most cars and trucks perform ideally at 40-60 mph. If you go faster, the engine will use more gas per mile driven and your transmission will be pushed to the max. Also, driving that fast means extra stress throughout the engine, and that can cause you to need early repairs. Driving at posted speed limits is the best way to show that you love your vehicle.
Don't Abuse the Transmission
Shifting is a big deal. First, don't ever change directions or park while your car is moving. Also, don't go into park and head off without putting on the parking brake. When you do, your whole car will be resting against the transmission instead of the brake. For stick shifts, be careful to remove your foot from the clutch between shifting. These easy habits could save you cash in the long run.
Don't Stop and Start Too Quickly
It's not a race. Obviously this behavior is far more likely to cause an accident. But beyond that, slamming the gas pedal at stoplights and slamming on the brakes is rough on your transmission, engine and brakes. It's easy to understand why you want to show off a fast vehicle, but we think that trying to show off too much will be destructive down the road.
Don't Idle or Rev
We have talked about engine idling before, and the best advice 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. If you do, the engine oil won't circulate properly and the catalytic convertor won't work. Furthermore, subjecting all the tiny parts of your engine to extreme shifts from cold to hot can cause widespread damage.
Don't Empty the Tank
Know about two ways that emptying your truck or car of fuel or keeping the tank low is a bad idea. Sediment in gas settles on the bottom of your fuel tank, so when the gas is almost gone your fuel pump has to send that grit through the engine. Even if this doesn't clog the lines, which it could, it does cause your car to work extra hard. Furthermore, gas in the tank actually helps cool the part that pumps fuel, making it last longer and work better. If you have too little, your fuel pump could get too hot.
Don't Start Slowly
This one is primarily about fuel economy, but it may also be a matter of personal safety – it's not a good idea to accelerate too slowly. Some drivers have been taught not to push the pedal to the metal, and that's usually smart. But starting too slowly stops your engine from working as intended and can tax the engine and transmission. Drive with traffic.
Come in for a Checkup
Drive with the right habits keep your car or truck clean from the exterior to the interior. You should also be sure to check the tires, oil and lights regularly. And every so often, bring your car or truck in to your Roanoke Christian Brothers repair shop for a pro checkup.