Mistakes that shorten your car’s lifespan

Have you ever thought about how you could be shortening your car’s lifespan? Sure, cars need ongoing vehicle maintenance and regular oil changes, but there are other habits you might have that are wearing down your car sooner than necessary.

It’s all too easy to fall into bad habits when it comes to driving. We’re all guilty of indulging in a bit of harsh driving, not cleaning the engine, or driving carelessly through potholes at least once or twice. However, these habits can have a much bigger impact on your car’s life than you might expect.

In this blog, we highlight some of the most common things drivers do that could inadvertently cause long-term damage to cars.

  Driving carelessly through potholes

Hitting a pothole at speed or at a strange angle could cause long-term damage to your car. Every time your car hits a pothole, it's like taking a hammer to your suspension. The shock can throw off the alignment of your wheels, damaging your tyre treads and rims. The constant jolting weakens frame components over time and causes uneven wear on your tyres. This is why it's important to get a wheel alignment if you’ve driven through a deep pothole.

Whenever possible, slow down and try to avoid any puddles that could be hiding a deep pothole.

  Not driving often enough

If you don't drive your car regularly, it can affect the lifespan of your vehicle. Not driving your car can cause the engine parts to become rusty and weaken over time due to lack of use. If your car is not used for some time, the oil could begin to degrade, which leads to sludge building up in the engine.

You should aim for at least 10 minutes of driving every two weeks to make sure that all the components are functioning properly and that all fluids are circulating regularly. It is also recommended that you take longer trips periodically, such as family road-trips or weekend getaways, as this will help keep your engine in good condition.

  Resting your hand on the gear shift in manual cars

If you drive a manual car, don’t rest your hand on the gear shift while driving. If you do so, you might unknowingly apply pressure which could speed up wear and tear of the gear components. This could lead to noisy gear changes or even difficulty changing gears.

  Using back-street mechanics for vehicle maintenance

Whether it's a simple tune-up, oil change, or a major repair, working with an experienced mechanic is essential to keeping your car running smoothly. If you choose to use a cheaper, back-street mechanic for vehicle maintenance, there is no assurance about the quality of the technicians working on the cars, the type of parts being used; the quality of the diagnostic equipment or the environmental practices being followed. The reality is, if you use a mechanic who doesn’t have the necessary registration and compliance, you have virtually no recourse if things go wrong.

Without answering to any regulatory requirements, these illegal workshops can produce substandard work that ultimately impacts the condition of your car. Accreditation and compliance is the consumer’s guarantee that the job will be done correctly and according to stringent industry standards.

Be sure to research mechanics in your area and read up on customer reviews to make sure you're dealing with a reputable shop. Ask around for recommendations and make sure to get multiple estimates before agreeing to any work.

  Not having wheels properly aligned

Having your car's wheels properly aligned might not seem like a huge deal, but it can make all the difference. Misaligned wheels can result in:

  • Poor handling and jerking when you turn the steering wheel
  • Uneven tyre wear
  • Potential for damaging your car's suspension
  • Reduced gas mileage due to premature tyre wear
  • Premature deterioration of your car's other parts if left unattended for too long

The Benefits of an Extended Car Warranty

As your car ages, it’s expected that certain major parts will have to be repaired and replaced. This can become expensive and for most of us, it requires careful budgeting. An Extended Car Warranty will help protect you from these unexpected expenses because an easy monthly intallment helps you plan your budget accordingly. Your vehicle’s repair work will be covered by qualified technicians working on your car, using genuine replacement parts. Find out more about an Extended Warranty through MotorHappy.

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