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5 TIPS TO SAVE YOUR CAR AND YOUR MONEY

5 TIPS TO SAVE YOUR CAR AND YOUR MONEY

Driving is one of those daily must do’s in our life that we do it on “autopilot”.  Have you ever driven to a location and thought to yourself, “I don’t even remember the drive here!”.  Because driving is so automatic, many of us have developed driving habits that unknowingly is causing unnecessary damage to our vehicles which increases the maintenance and repair cost we pay each year.  We have listed five habits that can save your car and your wallet! This is by no means an exhaustive list but it is some of the most common habits many drivers have.

  1. NOT USING PARKING BRAKE


If the parking brake isn't used regularly, the cables, which are located under the car can corrode and get stuck in place. This can become a big problem, as you may not be able to use the brake or the cable will snap when you try to engage it according to yourmechanic.com.Depressing the brake while engaging the hand brake just before putting the vehicle in to park will reduce the strain on the main brake system.  Don’t forget to release the hand brake before driving to prevent major damage to the entire brake system.

  1. RESTING HAND ON SHIFT GEAR WHILE DRIVING

If you have a manual transmission, habitually resting your hand on the shifter can cause damage to your transmission.  when you rest your hand on the gear lever, the force pushes down the shifter rail and in turn force the shift forks to push down on the synchronizers.  The synchronizers will make pressure contact with the gears without engaging them. This constant rubbing over time will cause wear on the gear teeth, which leads to the gears loss of friction and start to slip.  THn the gearbox can jump out of gears and end up not engaging at all, which will lead to transmission damage.

  1. FUELING UP ON NEAR EMPTY



When your vehicle is not in use, impurities enter the tank and the debris settle at the bottom of the tank.  These impurities get into the fuel pump and fuel filter which can cause damage and/or lead to the filter and/or pump needing replacement.During colder months, it is important to leave the tank at least half full.  This prevents excessive condensation from building up. Some common symptoms of a dirty/clogged  fuel filter random misfire, running rough when idling and the vehicle my loose power or cut off when going uphill.  

  1. EXCESSIVE BREAKING


If you live anywhere near Los Angeles, CA you know that you spend more time with your foot on the brake instead of the gas.  Many L.A. drivers are notorious for tailgating and aggressive driving. Every time the car ahead moves forward even just small distance, the following car accelerates as if they’re about to go far only to slam on the brakes immediately just inches away from the car in front of them.  I hope this doesn’t describe your driving but if it does; pay attention. Quick acceleration and hard stopping not only uses an average of 3 extra miles for every gas fill up but also heats up the roter and leads to wear and warping. Learn to coast when in stop and go traffic. When you can see that a stop is coming up, begin decelerating a few 100 feet prior to the stop.  You would be surprised how far you can drive without having to brake.

  1. BREAKING WHILE DRIVING DOWNHILL



When traveling downhill, you do not need to keep your foot on the gas as gravity will naturally and quickly  accelerate the traveling speed. Keep your foot near the brake. If you are going down a short hill road, using the brake will not do much damage.  Especially in modern cars. However, if you are traveling down a long, windy and steep mountain road, downshift. This could mean going down to 2 or 3rd gear if  you are not going to fast. In some cases, the road conditions may be so bad that you may need to shift down to 1st gear and step on the brake frequently. It all depends on how fast you are going, how steep the hill is and how long you will be traveling on the road.  Check your vehicle’s owner guide to see if their are gear recommendations for driving steep terrains.


While these recommendations may seem like common sense, there are many drivers who never give these recommendations a second thought.  Check with the manufacturer of your vehicle to see if there are special maintenance recommendations for your specific make and model. We hope this brief list will start you on a more time and cost-effective journey!


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