Usually, the best driving for your car's health is also safer for you. Read the tips from our expert auto repair specialists below.
Don't Push the Speed Limit
Driving as fast as possible on the freeway can be thrilling. However, driving too fast can actually be bad for your engine. Our auto team at Christian Brothers in Tyler, TX advises that most cars perform best at forty to sixty miles per hour. If you drive faster than that, your engine will use more gas per mile driven and your transmission may not be able to keep up. Also, driving that fast it means extra stress throughout the engine, and that can cause it to wear out more quickly. Driving at posted speed limits is the perfect way to show off that you're a proud car owner.
Don't Shift Like a Novice
It can be tricky to handle the transmission properly. Don't ever change directions or park while your car is still moving. Also, don't shift into park and leave the car without also putting on the parking brake. When you do, your whole car will rest against the transmission instead of the brake. For manual shifters, be careful to remove your foot from the clutch when you aren't shifting. These simple things could save you many hundreds of dollars.
Don't Drive Aggressively
You're not Vin Diesel from “Fast and Furious.” Of course this behavior is far more likely to cause a wreck. But also, shotgunning at intersections and braking hard is rough on your engine, your transmission, your suspension system and your brakes. It's only natural to show off a fast vehicle, but true car lovers know that you shouldn't abuse it.
Don't Sit and Idle or Rev
If you've read our blog, you know our thoughts on idling. It's also not great to rev your engine, especially if your engine is cold. If you do, the engine will not become lubricated safely and the catalytic convertor won't work. Going straight from cold to hot isn't good anyway.
Don't Empty the Tank
Know about 2 ways that emptying your engine of diesel or regular gas or keeping the needle low is harmful. Sediment in gas or diesel sinks to the bottom of your tank, so when the gas is almost gone your fuel pump has to push the grit through the fuel lines. Even if this doesn't clog the lines, which it could, it does require your engine to work a little harder than necessary. Also, gas in the tank actually helps cool the part that pumps fuel, making it last longer and work better. If you don't have sufficient gas in the tank, 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 – there's no reason to start driving so slowly that you risk the road rage of your fellow motorists. Some people have been taught not to push the pedal to the metal, and generally true. But getting going at very low speeds stops your car from reaching optimal speed and can tax the engine and transmission. Drive at about the same speed as the cars around you.
Come in for a Checkup
In addition to driving wisely, keep your car or truck clean inside and out. You should also be sure to check the lights, oil and tires regularly. Then, at least every 5,000 miles, bring your auto in to your Tyler Christian Brothers garage for a diagnostic and analysis.