Aside from your home, your car is probably the most valuable thing that you own, and certainly something you depend on a lot. It goes without saying that you want it to last for as long as possible. Even if you take your car to a mechanic whenever you notice something’s wrong, you may be hurting your car through simple bad habits. Here are a few ways you may be damaging your car, without being aware of it.
Not Using the Parking Brake
Whenever you park on a hill, engage the parking brake, even if you don’t think it’s necessary for the circumstances. If you fail to do this, you’ll put a lot of pressure on your transmission. Here, there’s a tiny pin roughly the size of your little finger that keeps the whole weight of your car in place. If you damage this too much, your car could be unsafe to drive.
Shifting into D or R When You’re Not Stationary
In all likelihood, you’re driving an automatic. With this kind of transmission, getting into drive or reverse isn’t the same as shifting from first to second in a manual car. Doing this can force the transmission into things that it wasn’t designed for, damaging the drive shafts and suspension, and making your car much less comfortable to drive.
Adding Small Amounts of Gas on a Regular Basis
There are going to be times where you simply can’t afford to fill a whole tank, or need to wait for a better deal on fuel. However, if you’re adding just a couple of gallons at a time, and regularly driving around with low levels of gas, it can end up costing you much more than you can hope to save. Firms like Autoco Car Service are constantly dealing with customers who have damaged their car through this penny-pinching habit. This is because it forces your car to draw gas from the very bottom of the tank, where you’ll have a sediment build-up unless your car is fresh from the factory. Over time, this will clog your fuel filter and pass debris into your engine.
Warming Up Your Car the Wrong Way
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with starting your car and letting it growl on your driveway for a few minutes when you leave the house on a frosty morning. However, revving the engine straight away to get it to warm up faster is always a bad idea. Doing this will cause abrupt temperature changes, which can wind up hurting your car, and forcing your engine to operate before the oil has had a chance to circulate properly.
Riding the Brakes Going Downhill
You may ride the brakes when you’re going downhill, thinking that it makes you better prepared to stop in case something unexpected happens. However, riding the brakes too much when you’re going down a sheer incline, or anywhere for that matter, puts unnecessary strain on the braking system. This can cost a lot, but more importantly, increase your risk of an accident.