If you aren't savvy about keeping your car in good condition, it can be surprisingly easy to destroy your vehicle within months of your first drive. Here are a few ways you could end up totally wrecking your car if you aren't careful.
Drive Through Water
Though you can safely drive through a couple inches of water if you are very careful and your vehicle has good tires, you might be surprised how little standing water it takes to completely ruin your car. Just six inches of water can be enough to stall many cars, and only two feet of moving water is all it takes to carry them away.
What's worse, once your car's intake manifold has had a chance to suck in water, there's a good chance your engine might be toast. Water exposure can be enough to bend pistons, which can destroy the engine from inside. Even if your engine survives, the electrical components of your car, such as spark plugs and wiring, will likely be toasted by water exposure.
Because it can be difficult to judge how deep water on the road is while driving, your best bet is to avoid it altogether if you want to keep your car in good shape.
Always Ride The Clutch
Automatic car drivers can relax because this costly mistake only applies to manual cars. Leaving your foot on the clutch pedal while driving , also referred to as riding the clutch, can cause long term damage not only to your car's clutch pedal, but also to your transmission. In serious cases, riding the clutch can completely ruin a good transmission by forcing the gears to run for long periods while not fully aligned.
On the other hand, failing to completely depress the clutch when changing gears can also damage your transmission by forcing the gears to come together roughly instead of fully disengaging and sliding smoothly into place.
Since the transmission is one of the most expensive parts of a car, like the engine, your car is likely to be written off as a total loss if it needs a transmission replacement.
Ignore Problems With The Oil
Whether it's a visible oil leak, a recurring problem with low oil, or an oil light on your dashboard, it all means one thing: your engine is losing its lifeblood. Oil is vital to the safety of your vehicle's engine; without it, those pumping pistons would wear down quickly.
You may think a slow oil leak isn't a serious problem, since you can just keep topping off the oil as needed, but you have no way of knowing if or when the leak might worsen. All it takes is a forgotten top-off or a widening of the hole in your oil pan, and your car's engine could seize up, never to run again.
Never Change The Tires
The treads on your car's tires help protect you from hydroplaning, stop you from skidding on icy roads, and reduce the distance it takes for you to come to a stop after braking. When you let the treads get worn down too low, all of those benefits are drastically reduced.
In fact, treads that were worn down only halfway already showed a 15% lowered ability to prevent skidding on snow and an 8% lowered ability to prevent hydroplaning in one test case. You can imagine how severe those numbers get the longer you wait to replace your worn out tires, and all it takes is one accident to not only total your car, but potentially also severely injure or even kill you.
Don't forget—car safety is driver safety. While the financial pain of losing your car should be enough to dissuade you from keeping up any of these risky habits, the physical pain of a car accident can completely change your life. Keep your car and yourself safe, and avoid these rookie mistakes. For more tips or maintenance help, contact a shop like Jensen Tire & Auto.Share
23 March 2016
The cars, trucks, vans and SUVs that we rely on each day all require us to take care of them. If we were to drive our vehicles every day without thinking about what they need every so often, they would quickly die and need to be repaired or replaced much more often than they should. Our blog is all about taking care of and maintaining vehicles of all kinds. You will learn what you need to do to keep your vehicle running as it should and tips for learning when your vehicle is in need of repair before it strands you along the road.