1. Ignoring Your Car’s Sounds
If you pay attention, your car can often tell you exactly what needs fixing. For example, those squealing brakes mean you need new pads, and if you ignore that sound, eventually you’ll hear scraping metal, which means you need new rotors. Listen to your car, and get odd sounds checked before they get worse.
2. Running Your Car Down to Empty
There is some disagreement about this, but many experts say that if your car gets down to E, the sediment in your tank will get sucked into the fuel system and will gradually clog your fuel injectors. Even if that’s not true, running down to E does mean that you cut the life of the fuel pump considerably, since the fuel actually cools the pump.
3. Not Using the Parking Brake
When you park on even a slight incline without using the parking brake, you’re putting all of the weight of the car on your transmission. The only thing inside that transmission holding your car steady is a little pin called a parking pawl. By using the parking brake, you lock up the non-drive wheels as well as the drive wheels and take the stress off of the transmission. It’ll add years of life to your car’s transmission. Just remember to disengage the brake before you start driving again!
4. Not Coming to a Complete Stop Before Shifting
Have you ever backed out of a parking space and shifted from reverse into drive while the car is still coasting backwards? You’ve just added more wear to your transmission in seconds than you usually add in days. Inside your transmission is a complex set of gears, and when you shift without stopping, you’re asking those gears to work as brakes, which puts an amazing amount of stress on them. You can also damage your drive shaft connections, the things that send power to the wheels, by shifting that way. After a while, it’ll lead to worn out axles or u-joints, and a worn out transmission.
5. Letting the Interior Go
Dirty materials do not last as long as clean ones, be they seat fabrics, leather, carpeting or whatever. Also, as dirt and stains accumulate, they get harder to remove, so some may never come out. Just clean it up once in a while, and try not to spill those coffees and cokes.
6. Forgetting to Change the Oil
You need to change your oil every 5,000 miles (most vehicles). There are claims that say you can go longer, but frequent oil changes are probably the one most important way to make your car’s engine last longer. Any mechanic would agree with this, and OnSite OilChange makes it EASY because we come to your location and carefully change the oil right there at your work or home.
7. Pressure Washing the Engine
A clean engine is nice. But if you spray a high powered jet of water around rubber seals and hoses and electrical parts, eventually you’re bound to dislodge something important. A modern engine is a complex thing with all kinds of sensors and electronic components, and it’s no place for a jet of high pressure water. A regular garden hose with some biodegradable engine cleaner is okay if you want to wash it down. Just avoid with the high pressure.
8. Revving Your Car at Start-up
When you start the car, the oil hasn’t yet worked its way up through the system, so the engine is working without much lubricant. Often, more wear happens at start-up than at most other times. The right way to do it is just let the car sit and idle for about 30 seconds at the least.