There are certain things we can do to improve and prolong our cars’ life and performance. For instance, everyone knows that regular checkups and maintenance can definitely stretch out car’s lifespan. But did you know that the way you drive can have a direct bearing on your car’s longevity? The following are some good driving habits that you can develop to make sure your car stays healthy in the long run:
Follow the Speed Limit
Your car was designed to perform optimally at a certain speed- right around the highway speed limit. If you go faster than the speed limit, you will be putting additional strain on your car’s engine. In addition, you’ll likely be burning through gas more inefficiently. Do yourself, your car, and your wallet a favor, and follow the speed limit.
Avoid Heavy Cargo Loads
Unless your vehicle was designed for hauling heavy loads, be wary of weighing down your car with lots of weight. Heavy cargo loads can easily put additional wear and tear on all kinds of systems, including the transmission, brakes, and suspension. Things to NOT store in your trunk all the time include heavy boxes, equipment or tools, or bulk packages of drinks (liquids are heavy!).
Avoid using your car as a storage space and clear out any heavy objects that don’t need to be in there. Also, be aware of your car or truck’s maximum payload capacity, and avoid using smaller cars with less torque for towing other vehicles.
Accelerate and Brake Smoothly
Constantly smashing on the gas and blasting off the line from a stop light is a recipe for engine strain. This can cause premature wear and tear on all your car’s engine parts, and can lead to overheating in some cases. Listen to your car and avoid hitting those acceleration moments where you can hear the engine straining. If you’re driving stick, be sure you’re shifting at the proper time as well.
Likewise, avoid sudden stops and brakes. These will wreak havoc on your brakes and can also place you and others on the road in a dangerous situation. Jerky and acceleration and braking often appear together. If a person accelerates too quickly in slow traffic, they will likely have to brake hard eventually. Avoid this madness and drive at an even, controlled pace.
Warm Your Car Up Before Driving
Your car needs a few moments to get the “juices flowing” and to get the parts heated and lubricated properly. This is true regardless of the weather (even here in sunny San Diego!). Get into the habit of running your car for a bit before you leave, especially if it’s been sitting for a while or overnight.
It can also be beneficial for you too! Take the warm-up time to clear your mind and focus on your driving route. It’s also an ideal time to set up your phone for the drive: set-up the map app, choose your playlist, or turn it off (gasp!). As always, never text and drive.
Finally, proper planning can help ensure that you are employing these good habits. For instance, if you’re running late, chances are you might try to rush, and these are when good driving habits go out the window.
Be sure that you treat your car with care; after all, it’s your investment! If you need any tune-ups, checkups, maintenance, or specific services, check us out at Convoy Auto Repair. We’re San Diego’s favorite auto repair shop, and we love helping people keep their cars running at their best. Schedule an appointment or stop by today!