Most everyone knows the basics of driving and car maintenance. Wear a seat belt. Change your oil after a few thousand miles. Don’t use your phone while driving. Align your tires. But there are many additional things you can do as a driver to save money, protect your car, and save your life.
1. Waiting Until Empty to Refill Your Tank
You might hate having to pay for gas, but putting off filling up your tank only harms your vehicle. Empty tanks can collect sediments that clog your fuel injector and older cars simply start up easier with at least a half a tank of gas, putting less stress on your engine.
2. Warming Up Your Car in the Winter
Cars get cold in the winter and, like starting up an oven, most people assume warming up your car before driving is good for both the engine and your comfort. But an idling engine in the cold is just wearing itself out, not to mention that a car heats up very slowly while sitting still. You should just drive right away. It’s better for your engine and will heat up your vehicle much quicker.
3. Not Turning Your Headlights On
Now, it should be obvious that you need headlights for driving at night. I hope. But it’s also very helpful for turning them on in the early morning and during bad weather. It’s a simple precaution that helps others see you as well as making it easier for you to navigate. While it might not be required to use your lights on these occasions, it is often a good idea to make sure you are visible to keep you and your vehicle safe.
4. Slowing Down to Stare at Crashes, Events, or Construction
Slowing down and taking your eyes off the road is dangerous, not only for you, but also for the rest of the drivers on the road. This is especially true during these situations when certain lanes can be closed, warning signs set up, and officers sent to direct traffic. Keep your eyes straight and focused on driving.
5. Pressing on Your Brakes Downhill
Braking while going down feels natural to keep you safe, buy actually you are putting a constant pressure on your brake pads as your car is moving, risking their failure. A better solution is to shift to a lower gear, such as 2 or L, which lowers the engine’s RPM, slowing you down.
Watch out for these bad habits and more to keep your car running smoothly and your road time safe and comfortable. If you’re looking for more tips and tricks or other information regarding all your automotive questions, visit us here at J. Bertolet Volkswagen.