Driving Habits That Improve the Longevity of Your Vehicle

Driving Habits That Improve the Longevity of Your Vehicle

With proper maintenance and care, your car can last longer than the average life of cars (11 years) but that is not going to just happen automatically. Here are some driving habits that can extend the longevity of your vehicle.

Go Slow Over Bumps

If you see potholes or bumps, slow down the vehicle. It is always good to go slow over bumps and avoid potholes altogether. If you go over bumps at high speed, you are more likely to cause damage to the undercarriage and strain your suspension system. If you follow this driving habit, you can extend the life of the shock absorbers, steering and suspension system.

Go for Long Trips

Short trips are not good for cars as they don’t allow engine to heat to operational temperatures.  Combining short and long trips allows the engine to reach operational temperatures which helps in burning off deposits and vaporize condensation that reduces corrosion. All this helps increase the car’s service life.

Avoid Speeding

Auto experts recommend that drivers avoid speeding and maintain economical speeds in the range of 45 to 65 mph. This is not only a safety-related driving tip but there are other benefits too. For example, driving at higher speeds leads to burning more fuel and the braking force required to stop the vehicle is also greater. In the event of an emergency, you may have to brake hard to bring the car to a halt safely. Driving at high speeds puts stress on the engine, transmission and tires. If you drive slower at economical speeds, these components stay cooler which extends their life.

Don’t Follow Closely

No matter where you are driving, whether on highways or city streets, don’t follow vehicles too closely. This will keep your car safe from falling objects from the vehicle driving ahead. If any items fall on your car, it can damage the windshield, chip the paint or cause other damage which would be an expensive fix.

Stop Your Vehicle Before Switching to Reverse

Drivers are known to shift to reverse gear even when the vehicle is moving in a forward direction. This puts unnecessary stress on the transmission as the momentum of the vehicle is in the opposite direction. Before shifting to reverse gear, apply brakes to stop the car completely and then shift to reverse.

Use the Parking Gear the Right Way Downhill

Many drivers use the parking brake to stop the vehicle when going downhill. This driving habit puts strain on the transmission. If you use the parking brake downhill, it can damage the transmission, especially transmission linkage and the parking pawl. The best thing to do is to use the neutral gear and then set the parking brake. This will reduce the strain on the transmission.

Use Engine Braking in the Right Manner

Brake pads and the brake discs are not the only things to slow down your vehicle. Modern vehicles have compression release engine brakes that use retarding forces within the engine to slow down the vehicle. It reduces the stress on the braking system.

These are some good driving habits that you need to follow in order to extend the service life of your car.