Ways You Are Killing Your Car
Driving is a huge responsibility that should not be taken lightly. The moment you hit your first mile, the mileage odometer increases, and that will never change. It is important to ensure that even as you enjoy your new ride, it’s not going to be new forever if you don’t take care of it. By changing a few habits, you can extend the life of your vehicle without having to go for unexpected repairs every now and then.
Not only will these tips help you maintain your vehicle’s value, but they can also save you money at the auto shop.
- Don’t Ignore Warning Lights
The warning lights were not put there for decoration. When any light pops up, you should immediately adhere to the warning and take a call to action approach by heading to the auto shop. A check engine light could indicate a suspicious gas leakage, and a brake or tire pressure monitoring could mean there is a potential safety risk.
- Hitting Potholes
Sometimes potholes are unavoidable. However, if you have the chance to avoid them, do so. They cannot cause huge damage to the tires but they cause the wheels to bend and take your car out of its standard alignment, hence, breaking suspension components. If you can take another route, you should consider that even if there is a traffic jam. If you come across one, just slow down and gently let each wheel drop into the crater-like hole and climb back smoothly.
- Not Paying Attention to the Maintenance Schedule
Contrary to popular belief, a maintenance schedule published in the owner’s manual is not meant to drive income to the dealer’s service department. Proper periodic maintenance is essential to repair and replace any worn out parts and identify small problems before they become bigger.
- Putting Off Repairs
Repairs are expensive and postponing them only increases the risk of damaging the car more and potentially increasing the maintenance cost. For instance, delaying buying new brake pads can lead to potential safety risks or more accrued payments. If you drive with a broken headlight, you stand the chance of getting fined or even facing jail time.
- Avoiding the Emergency Brake
If you rely on transmissions to hold the car, you stand at risk of causing costly transmission damage and creating a safety hazard when you ignore the parking brake. It doesn’t matter the transmission, whether manual, automatic or tiptronic. The parking brake or handbrake still remains essential. Leaving the car in park will only put so much stress on the transmission and eventually wear it out. The parking brake will act as a failsafe to keep the vehicle from rolling away. However, when the brakes are extremely hot after using them for a long while, you can just use park or put the car in gear as putting the handbrake up risks warping your brake rotors.
- Not Washing It Regularly
Washing the car does more than making it clean. It cleans off all the accumulated chemicals that can cause damage and prevent rust from eating your ride’s undercarriage.
Look for a car wash that features sprayers that get water up into the vehicle’s undercarriage. If you can’t find one, you should do it yourself to get rid of all the salt underneath.
- Waxing it Regularly
Waxing the car on a regular provides a protective barrier that keeps the clear coat and paints from damaging. Waxing creates a layer that takes all the hit, dirt and other chemicals. Without a regular wax coat, your vehicle’s paint job will get dull over time. Fortunately, new wax compounds are not hard to apply and last way longer than traditional, standard wax.
- Not Driving It
Not driving the car enough and leaving it idle will only drain the battery, stale the gas, spoil the paint job, and flatten the tires. Parking the car for too long will attract insects that might infest the car and bore through the bodywork, or an accumulation of rust especially in coastal areas.
- Driving It Too Much
This is contrary to the last point but driving it too much is also as bad as leaving it idle for too long. It short trips and requires to get its fluids flowing before it gets sparked again.
- Ignoring A Cracked Windshield
Small windshield chips can be fixed without replacing the windshield. If it spreads into a bigger crack, you’ll be forced to start planning for a new glass. In some countries, having a cracked windshield can get you fined or face jail time.
- Buying the Wrong Size or Type of Tires
Vehicle manufacturers recommend a specific type and size of tire for an important reason. They are engineered to work efficiently with the car’s performance and capabilities. Putting the wrong tire can affect the handling, put more stress, and risk its safety systems.
- Using The Wrong Fuel
Using different fuel can cause corrosion in different cars and engine parts because of the nature of ethanol. The fuel tank will have to be drained and all the fuel system to be flushed. Not only can it destroy the engine, but it can also destroy the emissions-control hardware.