The way you drive can affect the way your car behaves, it can affect your fuel efficiency, your service intervals and can even save you from unneeded tyre wear. Most of them are mundane things you would think are least likely to make a difference, but over a period of time they can seriously damage your car and cost you lakhs in servicing and maintenance. These 5 pet peeves are easily missed and often habits we don’t realize until we understand them properly. But practising them regularly could make sure your car drives better and lives longer. (and most importantly costs you less)
Riding the Clutch – Less Control, More Wear!
One of the most common driving errors involves keeping your left foot rested on the clutch while you drive. Most people don’t realize that even though the car may be moving, until the clutch is fully disengaged the pressure plate and bearings in the transmission are still partially engaged meaning they wear out faster. What’s worse is this habit even affects your control on the car, considering that the wheels are not entirely engaged by the engine. Just lifting your foot off, and placing it on the mat could as much as double your clutch life!
Revving a Cold Engine
We’ve all done it to quickly warm up our cars on a cold winter mornings. Hop into the car, rev the cold engines a few times and watch that plume of white smoke exit the car. On the plus side this is a great way to quickly warm up your engine, which is why so many of us do it. On the down side it can severely bruise your engine and even cause long term almost irreparable damage and here is why. A cold engine neither has the oil nor lubrication to run at full range. It is very important even in modern day cars to wait at least 30 seconds from the time you start your car to the time you drive off. This will not only give you better short term fuel mileage but also improve the quality of performance your engine delivers.
Incorrect Tyre Pressures
Admit it.We don’t think a lot about our tyres. When was the last time you checked the tyre pressure on your car? Do you even know what the correct pressure for your car is? The truth is our tyres and some air is that stands between us a metal cage and the road. Proper tyre care could not only save you in how many kilometres you get to a litre but also save your life in an emergency situation. Pull out the manual see what the ideal pressure for your car is and try to check it on a weekly basis. This will not only give you better understanding of the cars tyres but also ensure no tyre is causing stress to the suspension or the gearbox by being unevenly inflated. Keeping the routine should ensure your tyres last longer and your car drives better.Once you have the hang of it, you might even experiment with adding or subtracting a few PSI (Pounds-Square-Inch) for better fuel mileage or even improved traction.
Driving in Reserve
We have all been there, driving home from work late in the evening and car slips into reserve. “Ah, we’ll fill it tomorrow” knowing fully well that we have a few litres in the reserve tank to fall back on. But again this seemingly small infraction might be costing you and your engine quite dearly. There are two reasons for this, the first one is that most modern cars have their fuel pumps submerged low in the tank. Less fuel means the pump is doing more work to get the same amount of fuel into your engine. That means it’s not only damaging your pump it’s ruining your fuel economy too! The other reason is the fact that most of the time all the contaminants in the fuel settle at the bottom of the tank and trust me, you don’t want one of those fellas in your Fuel pump.
Turning the ac on and off
Now while this may not affect the vehicle’s driving ability per say, it severely affects your fuel economy and your air-conditioning compressor. Which is incidentally one of the more expensive parts in your car. Switching it on and off at random can put a lot of pressure on the compressor. Keeping this practise could save you in the short term, with the number of times you need to get your air conditioning refilled. In the long term it could easily save your compressor!
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