We all have bad habits. Some people pick their nose in public. Others might not signal properly when changing lanes. Whatever yours may be, some habits can be devastating to your car.
Here is a list of some habits that wreak havoc on your vehicle. If you find yourself being guilty of any of these, do your best to change them today!
1. Harsh driving habits
You know the type. Accelerates hard and brakes even harder, seemingly at every intersection or light. They take turns too fast and would rather break the speed limit than let you onto the interstate.
Rest assured that driving will come back to haunt them in the form of degraded brakes, a worn out suspension, and decreased fuel efficiency.
If you think you might fit this description, ease up on the gas and brakes. Give yourself plenty of time to stop and try to maintain a steady speed.
Also, let people onto the interstate. It’s too dangerous to be competitive.
2. Ignoring your fluids
Your vehicle employs a variety of fluids to keep everything running as efficiently as possible. These are very easy to ignore since you won’t really notice them until something’s wrong.
Your car’s manual will have very specific information about how often to check and change your fluids. We’ve also written a handy guide on fluid maintenance for your vehicle. Getting into good fluid maintenance habits will significantly increase the lifespan and performance of your car.
3. Being careless with your tires
Your tires are your car’s first and, hopefully, only contact with the road. This fact alone should convince you that you need to take your tires seriously.
Proper tire maintenance habits include checking air pressure whenever you gas up, getting your tires regularly balanced and rotated and buying new tires when they’ve worn out.
Tires that are less than ideal create a ripple effect that impacts your entire vehicle.
4. Skipping regular services
Your car’s manufacturer suggests certain services at specific intervals for a reason. A car is made up of thousands of parts, many of which are moving parts. This means they will need to be serviced every now and again.
Even the best manufactured cars in the world still need regular maintenance and tune-ups. Things come loose or overheat. Uneven wear on your tires could be putting a lot of strain on one side of the vehicle.
Take the opportunity to have a professional assess and correct that. You’ll be glad you did when your vehicle is still in great shape years later.
5. Not washing your car
While this may seem like a purely visual choice, leaving dirt, grime and especially salt from sea air on your paint can lead to permanent damage to your vehicle.
Pollutants in the air can seriously degrade your paint and lead to rust on the body of your car. Not only does this look bad, it will cause a huge drop in your car’s value.
In addition, leaving your windshields and windows dirty can reduce visibility and cause a dangerous driving situation.
6. Dismissing the check engine light
No, it’s probably not just the light itself. While we all feel a sense of dread when see it, the check engine light is your car telling you it’s in pain. If you see this light, your vehicle needs attention.
Make sure to take your vehicle to a mechanic with the proper diagnostic equipment. Modern cars generate error codes that can be read with the right computer. These codes will tell your mechanic what’s wrong with the car in specific.
Ignoring this light is one of the worst habits you can have. While it might seem like you’re saving money by skipping out on the mechanic, a small problem that might be a few hundred to fix now could cost thousands later as your engine breaks down. Don’t ignore it.
Many of these habits are simply a matter of biting the bullet and doing what’s needed when it’s needed. If you’re the type that hates spending money, consider learning to DIY some of your auto maintenance. It’s one of those rare hobbies that saves you more money than it costs, and it will help you get to know how cars work in general.
Stay tuned to the Strutmasters blog for more great car care advice.