Vehicle maintenance is important to ensure the safety of you, your passengers, and other road users, as well has helping to keep repair costs to a minimum. Last week, we looked at five of the primary causes of wear and tear in vehicles; here are the next five.
6. A significant proportion of vehicle damage is caused by driving into potholes or over speed bumps at too great a speed. Potholes may be particularly hard to spot in autumn and winter, when they may be full of water; so, don’t trust a puddle! If you see a pothole, drive around it where possible; if it’s not possible to avoid, drive slowly into it. Likewise, with speed bumps: slow right down. Failing to reduce your speed can result in buckled wheels, tyre/suspension damage or even a damaged exhaust system. They can also interfere with your tracking; a lot of risk and costly damage to arrive a couple of seconds sooner.
7. Unless you have made a short stop in a long journey, every time you start your engine, you are starting it from cold. It takes time for the engine to warm up, and it is only when the engine is warm that the oil is distributed around the engine and able to do a proper job of lubricating. Try to avoid revving until you know your engine is warm; this way, you have given the oil a chance to distribute around the engine before you put too much pressure on it.
8. Those lights on your dashboard? They’re not just there to look pretty, they are telling you something that you need to know. If a warning light comes on, check it out. A head-in-the-sand attitude isn’t going to help: the problem will only get worse (and more expensive). You can check your manual to see what the light means, but if your engine/ECU light, brake light, power steering or oil lights come on, go straight to a local garage to get it checked out.
9. When you have been driving for a while, it can be very easy to slip into bad habits. Riding a clutch (keeping your foot on it after a gear change or hill start) is one of the most common habits, and one of the most common causes of wear and tear which, incidentally, isn’t covered on a vehicle’s warranty.
10. In this case, we have saved the best (or worst) culprit until last. Being hard on your brake is the single biggest thing that you can do to cause excessive, not to mention expensive, wear and tear on your vehicle. Whenever you can, slow down by taking your foot off the accelerator first, and brake softly when you need to. Of course, in an emergency situation, wear and tear is not as important as your safety, so perform an emergency stop if needed.
Was this helpful? Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more driving tips. If you are concerned about the maintenance of your vehicle, get it checked out by a local mechanic, who will help you to maintain condition and save money in the long term.