“Brake” Those Bad Habits
Winter weather can really take a toll on your car, but your bad habits might be making things even worse. Here are five ways you may be increasing wear and tear on your vehicle, according to autoblog.com.
Warming up your car or leaving it idling. Like most people, you probably enjoy having a warm seat and toasty interior before driving off in the morning. However, keeping a newer car running for longer than a few minutes can really take its toll. Idling forces an engine to operate in a very inefficient and gasoline-rich mode that, over time, can degrade the engine’s performance and reduce mileage. Driving your car actually warms it up faster.
Practicing poor tire maintenance. Driving with improper tire pressure wastes fuel and wears down your tire’s tread. Low tire pressure increases the rolling resistance, or friction between the car and the road, which leads to excessive or uneven tread wear. This can cause problems on snow or ice because it adversely affects your car’s handling and braking.
Driving too fast. It doesn’t just put you at risk for getting ticketed or possibly getting into an accident. Driving too far over the speed limit forces you to brake harder and more abruptly, which can also take a toll on your tires’ tread. Slowing down and allowing more distance between your car and the driver ahead will give you more time to react and will put less strain on your car.
Riding the brake or clutch. “Riding the brake” is caused by using two feet to control your car pedals. When you ride the brake, you don’t notice it, but you briefly hold the brake and gas at the same time while driving, which will wear your brakes down faster. It also drives other motorists crazy. The same can be said of riding the clutch. To avoid this, keep your left foot firmly planted on what is known as the “dead pedal” to the far left. This will give you stability
while driving and keep you from riding the brake or clutch.
Baking the dashboard. This is a fairly common habit but easy to fix. When your car sits in the sun for long periods of time, the dashboard begins to blister,
crack and fade, even in the winter. You can avoid this damage by using one of those foldable sunshades to block out the sun. This is an inexpensive fix that
will save you money in the long run.