There are a few key mistakes we make in our daily lives that could potentially ruin our car – like crashing it into a wall or setting the backseat on fire. Then again, there are often smaller ways you might not even realise that can also potentially damage the undercarriage, tyres, radiator or even the engine of your car.
If you want to make the most out of your next trade-in, don’t ruin your car by taking note of this handy list!
1) Shifting into drive while the car’s still rolling backwards
You may be thinking that going from reverse to drive before the car has fully stopped isn’t horrible, but think about this: at just 4 mph, today’s average car exerts more force than a bullet fired out of a rifle, and you’re asking small pieces of metal to stop it instantly. When you think about how expensive transmission repair can be, you’ll realize why this is shooting yourself in the foot. Which is also extremely costly to repair.
2) Filling your radiator with nothing but water
If you’re driving hard or stuck in traffic during the extreme heat of our sunny island, untreated water can approach its boiling point given the pressure of most cooling systems. To avoid damage to your car radiator, use a 50/50 mix of water and coolant.
3) Cleaning your car windows with windex
Windex contains ammonia, and if it comes in contact with the tint film of your car windows, it will discolour it. Use a window cleaner specifically made for vehicles instead. If you’ve ever seen someone with purple windows, they probably used Windex.
4) Using the wrong oil
The viscosity of an oil large effects how it does its job, and your engine is designed around a specific viscosity. Always stick to the manufacturer’s recommendation, that can be found in the owner’s manual.
5) Not giving enough time for your car to warm up
All parts of your engine are designed to operate within a certain temperature range. When you start up your car and immediately drive off, you’re actually adding stress to everything under the hood when its most vulnerable. New cars warm up much faster, but it’ll be best to wait at least a minute for it to warm up before going on the road.
6) Driving with your Automatic Start/Stop System
Your car’s Automatic Start/Stop System is designed to make your car more environmentally friendly, and save you a few dollars at the fuel pump. However, using it will cause premature wear on parts. Today’s cars have beefier starters to compensate for this, but if you take two brand new cars and disable the start/stop function of one and not the other, the one without the function will lead a longer and much happier life. However, your car will put out more greenhouse gas, it’s all about the pros and cons.
7) Not slowing down at speed bumps
This will destroy the life of your shocks and can lead to other damage to the car’s undercarriage. The bumps are there for a reason so there’s don’t need to rush, speedy gonzales!
8) Ignoring the small things matter
A small mechanical issue can lead to a bigger one in the long run. For instance, a worn shock absorber stresses things like bushings. When suspension bushings go, you’re looking at excess movement in the tires, which increases wear and decreases stability. When engine and transmission bushings go, you have extra movement in your drive train. This butterfly effect will cause serious damage to your car and bank account.
9) Ignoring the check engine light
One of the few components that are ignored by many is the check engine light, where most think that its nothing serious. When the light comes on, it means something is off with the engine. Even if its something minor, ignoring it would only lead on to bigger problems eventually.
Do you make any of these mistakes? These mistakes are easily avoidable and we hope that this guide will help you to save time and money from fixing these car troubles. If you wish to learn more on how to save money on your car maintenance, feel free to check out our article on the money-saving tips on car maintenance and repair!
Image Credit: Car