If you want your car to serve you longer and save money on expensive service and maintenance, motoring experts recommend a few things to keep in mind, and a few common mistakes to avoid to ensure your car looks and performs to its optimum capacity.
1. Keep your tyre pressure at the recommended PSI
If your tyre pressures drop too low too much heat is generated inside because the resistance against the road is greater. Your fuel economy also drops, for instance, if you drive with deflated tyres just 2psi lower than the manufacturers recommendation, then your fuel economy drops by 2%. The same tyre under inflated by 2 psi will last 6,000 kms less! Over inflated tyres affect your cars handling. Your chances of skidding, hydro-planing, or have an accident increase significantly. Check your tyre pressures regularly.
2. Take it easy on the gas and brake pedals
Sharp acceleration and abrupt braking cause damage and pressure on a number of different systems in the car. The transmission and engine suffer and brake pads and discs wear out much quicker, plus you’re burning more gas than you need to. It goes without saying that you’re more likely to be involved in a car accident if your acting like a race car driver.
3. Park Correctly
Too many drivers throw the car into “park” before coming to a complete stop. You must avoid this habit as it damages the transmission and leads to an expensive repair. The same goes for putting the car into drive or reverse before stopping fully. You should always ensure the car is at a complete stop before changing the gear.
Don’t ignore your hand brake! Just because your vehicle has a parking gear, the hand brake should also be applied. Putting your car in park puts too much pressure on the transmission and in rare cases it can even become dislodged or break down. The best option is to use your hand brake, plus if you don’t use your hand brake regularly, the cables connected to it might deteriorate and let you down in an emergency.
4. Don’t ignore the dashboard With the help of the symbols on the cars dashboard, your car can tell when something is wrong. Like when the engine is overheated, something is wrong with the electrical system, or the brake fluid level is too low. If warning lights come on don’t ignore them. Get yourself to a repairer as soon as possible to avoid expensive repairs or worse, an accident.
5. Don’t put off vehicle inspections and repairs
Cars are like people, they need regular check-ups and health tests. Unfortunately many drivers don’t recognise this and neglect routine maintenance, but they’re surprised when their vehicle breaks down. Keeping up with regular checks and inspections prevents an expensive car repair later.
6. Avoid Overloading
Weighing your vehicle down excessively causes stress to the cars suspension, steering, transmission, tyres and engine. Overloading also increases fuel consumption and makes the car harder to handle.
7. Don’t overload the Clutch
For those who drive manual vehicles, don’t hold the clutch in at traffic lights, it just wears out the parts connected to it faster because they’re working too much when they should be resting. During short stops, move the shift to neutral and press the clutch right before you start moving.