Your vehicle is one of your most costly possessions, and it’s certainly one on which you heavily depend. So, you want it to last as long as possible. Even if you have the proper vehicle maintenance measures in place, there may be important day-to-day responsibilities you overlook that have a negative impact on the life of your car.
Sudden Stops and Take-Offs: Regularly slamming on the brake or gas pedal takes a large toll on your gas mileage and can even cause deterioration on parts like your brake pads and rotors.
Riding the Clutch: In cars with manual transmissions, drivers sometimes keep the clutch engaged when it’s not time to brake or shift gears. This can wreak havoc with the hydraulic system where the pressure plates meet the flywheel. Riding the clutch causes those plates to graze the flywheel willy-nilly, wearing down the system in general and potentially setting you up for sudden clutch failure in the future.
Improperly “Warming Up” Your Car: While there’s nothing wrong with starting your car and letting it idle for a few minutes before you leave the house on a cold morning, revving the engine right off the bat to “warm it up” is a bad idea. This causes sudden temperature changes that can actually harm your car and forces the engine to work under load before the oil has a chance to fully circulate.
Riding the Brakes Downhill: Despite feeling like you’re poised to stop in an emergency, riding the brakes while going down hills, or even in general, causes undue wear and tear on your braking system. Driving in this manner actually sets you up for a higher risk of brake failure, so try driving in a lower gear instead, if you have the option.
Ignoring the Parking Brake: When you park on an incline, use the parking brake even if you don’t think it’s necessary (read: your car has an automatic transmission). If you don’t, you put pressure on your transmission, where there’s just a small little pin the size of your pinkie finger, known as the parking pawl, keeping the whole weight of your car in place.
It is well known that the manner in which you drive your vehicle directly impacts wear and tear and the longevity of your vehicle’s parts. So keep your car looking and working as good as new by following these simple steps.