12 Dos And Don’ts For Car Owners
Modern cars are complex machines and it’s normal for components to wear out with use. If you use your car carefully, it will give you good performance throughout its life. Rough use will reduce performance and increase your trips to the garage. These tips will save your money and help you get the most out of your car.
1. Allow Your Car To Warm Up
The oil pump starts working when the engine is started. Allow time for the oil to move into the engine and attain the right operating temperature.
If you are doing a cold start, allow at least 30 seconds for the engine to warm up before moving. In cold winters give it some more time, maybe up to two minutes before you start driving. Never rev the engine until it attains the operating temperature. It will cause wide temperature fluctuations and damage components within the engine.
2. Don’t Floor The Gas Pedal
If you like speed, you may be tempted to push the gas pedal to the floor when you get an opportunity. Don’t do it because it makes the engine over rev and your car burns more fuel. It also puts additional strain on mechanical components like the drive train and transmission. A burst of speed usually ends with sharp braking, which causes further problems.
3. Don’t Come To A Screeching Halt
Except for emergencies, there is no case for sharp braking. Anticipate and slow down in advance before stopping. Sharp braking heats up the braking system and accelerates the wear of brake pads and tyres. When you stop abruptly, the probability of a rear end collision also goes up.
4. Shift To A Lower Gear While Going Downhill
The right way to reduce speed and keep good control while going down an incline is to shift to a lower gear. Instead, if you ride your brakes to control speed, the friction will heat up the brake components leading to brake problems and possible brake failure. Shift to a lower gear and use the brakes briefly as needed.
5. Don’t Switch Between Forward And Reverse Without Stopping
Don’t shift gears between drive and reverse without bringing the car to a halt. Most transmissions are not built for this. You should never shift modes in automatic transmissions until the car has come to a complete halt. It’s better to spend two seconds more by stopping instead for waiting for days and paying through your nose to get the transmission repaired.
6. Don’t Rest Your Hand On The Gear Shift Lever
When you are driving through crawling traffic or situations where frequent gear shifts are necessary, it may be convenient to rest your hand on the gear shift lever. This puts additional stress on components of the manual transmission like the selector fork and increases wear.
7. Use The Hand Brake While Parking
Cars with automatic transmissions have a ‘P’ position, which is an additional safety to prevent the vehicle from moving. It’s not meant to be used as a parking brake. To keep the vehicle from moving while parked or while stopping on an incline, engage the hand brake.
The ‘P’ position engages the parking pawl, a small finger-sized piece of metal in the transmission, which prevents the output shaft from turning. Using it as a parking brake will put the entire weight of the vehicle on the pawl. This will eventually ruin it and cause other transmission problems. If it breaks, your car could move unexpectedly and result in an accident.
8. Avoid Potholes And Go Slow Over Speed Bumps
Going fast over potholes and speed bumps is the most common cause for damage to the suspension, shock absorbers, tyres and other undercarriage components. Potholes are best avoided. Go slow over speed breakers else they can easily become car breakers.
9. Don’t Let The Fuel Run Low
The fuel pump is designed to remain submerged in the fuel, which keeps it cool. It gets exposed and heats up when the fuel runs low. It’s best to top up once the fuel is below the halfway mark. This also gives you extra time to fill and avoids that emergency trip to the gas station.
10. Don’t Ignore Problems
If you hear abnormal noises, notice performance issues or a warning indicator lights up on the dashboard, get it checked and fixed. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. Problems are best fixed in the initial stages. Ignoring them will lead to bigger problems and possibly, expensive repairs.
11. Don’t Overload Your Vehicle
Some people use their car like a portable storage. They carry around things like strollers, kid’s bikes, and recyclable waste in their car. Most of the stuff is there just because there is nothing to put in the boot or there is no one in the back seat. When you clutter up your car, you are making it difficult for yourself when you really need the space. If the back seat or leg spaces are cramped, it becomes uncomfortable for rear passengers. It also becomes more difficult to keep the inside of the car clean.
Weight makes a significant impact on the performance of your car. Extra weight puts extra strain on all components of your vehicle, speeds up wear and increases fuel consumption. Every vehicle has a prescribed maximum load. Never exceed that limit.
Moisture retaining dirt on the outer body increases the risk of rust. If the dirt enters critical components or moving parts, it can cause them to corrode or impede movement. Keep your car clean, both the inside and outside. Touch up places where the paint is damaged.
A regular service and timely repairs are essential to keep your vehicle in good condition. If you are looking for a car service in the Manchester area, contact us or complete our car service form to book a service or get a quote for a car repair and we will find the right garage for you. We will collect your car, service and/or repair it, wash and valet it and return it back to you wherever you may be. You will get an economical, convenient, hassle free, convenient and high-quality service.
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