If your car could talk, it would definitely tell you to stop doing these things. Here’s a list you should be aware of to keep your car loving you for longer.
- Excess baggage
Carrying extra weight not only affects fuel consumption, it can put extra stress on your car. This is particularly true for smaller vehicles that aren’t designed to handle the extra load.
This also applies to towing, as those extra kilograms can impact on handling and braking and wear out your brakes and shocks. Make sure you check your car’s weight capacity in the owner’s manual or by contacting your dealer. Maybe go easy on that extra slice of pizza too, if you know what I mean 😉.
- Riding the clutch
Riding the clutch causes the clutch plate to deteriorate prematurely and that can cost you. Heavy traffic is the usual culprit which more often than not, you can’t escape. But if you can, avoid overusing your clutch and opt for the accelerator and brake, or handbrake to control your car when you need to do a lot of stopping and starting.
- Imbalanced wheels and alignment
Driving with wheels that are not balanced and aligned creates excessive wear and tear on your tyres and suspension. This also increases the chance of losing control in hazardous weather conditions. So, make sure you keep this in check by keeping up with services.
- Under and over-inflated tyres
Under-inflated tyres mean that more of the tyre surface is making contact with the road, causing friction that may affect your car’s ability to stop. On the other hand, over-inflating your tyres could lead to less traction while driving. Check your car’s tyre pressure guide – it’s usually a sticker visible when you open the driver’s door or look it up in your manual.
- Wrong liquids
Most vehicles require a specific type of petrol, engine oil, transmission fluid, engine coolant and braking fluid. Make sure you read your owner’s manual because you might accidentally damage your vehicle and void your warranty by using the wrong liquids.
- Skipping services
Regular maintenance of your vehicle does actually help its performance. Car manufacturers have carefully worked out the optimal service schedule and skipping them could decrease the lifespan of certain components of your vehicle, leading to increased safety risks.
- Riding your brakes
Using the brakes for an extended duration may lead to brake pad glazing. This is when the brake pad gets overheated and results in crystallised material on the pad surface and brake disc. This can cause poor stopping performance, vibration and cracks or fissures in the brake pad material.
- Revving before the engine warms up
Revving your engine like it’s the start of the Bathurst 1000 puts unnecessary strain on the engine’s components that will lead to deterioration. That’s because engine fluids need to be at operating temperature to perform at their best. Always try to let your vehicle idle for a few minutes before you take off.
Keeping a safe following distance behind other vehicles lessens the chance of stones hitting your vehicle, especially your windshield. It also means you have more time to react in an emergency situation. Take extra care around roadwork as well as construction vehicles carrying sand, stone or other building materials.
- Not using your handbrake
When you park your car on a slope without using the handbrake, you’re adding extra strain to your car’s transmission. A lot of people either forget to apply their handbrake or choose not to, leaving their car in gear.
Following these sensible suggestions will help keep you on the road and your hand out of your pocket! The more love you give your car, the more it will love you back!