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Did You Know You Could Be Killing Your Car?

9 Mar , 2020  

Car safety is one of the biggest concerns for people on the road today. It’s not just the behavior of the driver that is called into question when it comes to being safe: it’s the condition of the car.

Given the current statistics that show how many car accidents there are every year, it would be in your best interest to ensure that your vehicle is in excellent working condition before you get behind the wheel.

The problem? Most people do not know that their actions could mean that they are killing their car. Your car is a machine, and it has an engine, tyre and car batteries that need to all run together to stay safe.

It doesn’t matter how much you paid for it or whether you bought it brand new or used; it’s a machine that comes with many parts.

When those parts work together on the road with a respectful and careful driver behind the wheel, things go well. You can get from A to B in one piece based on your own driving and the performance of your vehicle, and when you look after your car, you’re going to manage that most of the time.

Of course, you cannot guarantee the behavior of other drivers, but that’s another story altogether!

You know that some common sense issues will hurt your car. These are things like smoking excessively in the car to the point that your upholstery cannot recover, or a fire in the vehicle that ruins the seats. It’s probably a good idea not to set your own car on fire! Some of the general habits that have developed as you drive will be potentially killing your vehicle – and you won’t even know it.

Below, we’ve put together a list of things that could be affecting your car right now, so that you can finally move on and start treating your vehicle better.

 

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You’ve Been Adding Water To Your Radiator

We can hear your protests already, but hear us out! You’ve likely been taught how to change the oil of your car and add water to the radiator since you were old enough to see into the bonnet of your vehicle. If you’ve spent time learning how to add water to your radiator, you may not think that what you are doing is overly wrong.

However, if you’ve been busy adding water from your flask in the car to your radiator when you’re stuck in traffic, you’re doing it wrong. Sitting in the car – or even just leaving it on the drive – with the heat of the sun beating down? If you’ve been adding untreated water to the radiator, it’s going to boil, and that’s going to cause severe issues within the engine of your car.

It can also freeze entirely in the winter and send cracks through the engine. It’s just not worth it, not when you could keep a 50/50 solution of coolant and water in the car for moments your vehicle needs a top-up.

 

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You’re Going Into Drive While Reversing

Do you have any idea of the strain that a car is under to do as you’re telling it to do? You have to imagine the complex network of metal pieces that it takes for a vehicle to reverse out of a parking space.

There is a lot of effort going into reversing your car, and if you head into drive before the car has stopped moving, you’re going to work your transmission to the bone over time. It may not blow out on you the first time that you do it, but over time, the wear and tear are going to take a toll, and you’re not going to have a transmission left.

Transmission repairs are so expensive, so avoid the cost of it and be smart: wait to stop in reverse before you move into drive. It’s good practice to get into, and it’ll save you money!

 

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You’re Cleaning The Windows Wrong

We know: how many ways are there to clean the windows? Well, it’s not the way you’re doing it, but what you’re doing it with. If you’ve got tinted windows on your car and you choose to use chemicals to clean them, you’re going to discolor the tint.

Anything with ammonia in it is going to do some damage, and if you’ve ever seen purple window tint, there is a strong chance that they’ve sprayed ammonia on the window.

Tinted windows can only look classy if you’re treating it well, so take the advice you’re given by those who have installed the tint on the windows in the first place.

 

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You’re Not Taking The Right Oil Advice

Did you know that the thickness of the oil that you use in your car matters? Most people don’t. They’re buying “car oil” and deciding that it’s the right one, but it’s not, and the performance of the engine is affected by the oil of the wrong viscosity.

Check out the manual of your car to know which oil you should be using. When you use the wrong oil, it will end up clogging your engine – especially if it’s too thick. Take the right advice from a mechanic about this, and you can help your engine to live a much longer life.

 

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You’re Using Your ASS

We’re not vulgar – promise! You have an Automatic Start/Stop System with your car (your ASS), and it’s designed to ensure that you can drive in a way that makes you more eco-friendly.

The problem is that this system will cause wear on certain parts of the car before it should. Of course, you don’t have to use it, but it’s the choice between being a little harsher to the environment and dealing with the cost of the repairs later. The option is yours.

 

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You’re Leaving Too Fast

Before you think that you need to get into the car slowly, the key here is in letting your car warm up slightly. Most people run the engine for a few seconds before pulling off and heading wherever they need to be. The problem is that the oil is still cold in this state, and you need to give the oil time to warm up.

When you do, it’ll lubricate much better and keep the parts in the engine at a good temperature. Your car will run under stress if you don’t allow it enough time to warm up before you start it up and drive away.

Most of the newer vehicles on today’s market will warm up far faster than the older models, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still wait a moment!

Your car has to be a specific temperature under the hood if you’re planning to drive, and if you want everything working, respect the limits.

 

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You’re Careless With Your Concentration

Of course, this is a bigger car killer than almost everything else. When you are on the road, you have to respect your surroundings. However, you can only do that if you are aware of your surroundings in the first place. When you choose not to pay attention to your surroundings, you miss out on potholes and speed bumps.

You won’t miss it when you feel yourself thrust upwards and the undercarriage of your car smacked into, though! Watching the speed limits, keeping up with your vehicle and avoiding the fast starts and stops will help you to keep an eye on the shock life of your car.

There is only so much it can take before you’re putting it in to the experts at the shop and asking them to perform miracles.

 

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You’re Willing It On

You know that the brake light is on. You know that there is a weird grinding noise in the car (even though you’re turning up the music to avoid it). You know that the car has started to whine when pushed a bit faster.

These are all things that you’re actively avoiding and not fixing, but it’s the accumulation of the small things adding up that causes the big issues in your car. Instead of waiting for the car to pop on the road, start fixing the small issues before they become the big ones while you drive.

 

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You See The Lights

Those little dashboard lights are there for a reason. They’re there to tell you when something is wrong, and if you’re ignoring them, you’re actively ignoring a problem. The check engine light is there to tell you to CHECK THE ENGINE when things are going wrong. If you ignore this, you’re actively killing your car – the car you are paying for.

So, if you are seeing little orange lights along the dashboard, you’re going to pull over, and you’re going to shut the car off. Ignoring the lights is not an option. Your car batteries could be on the way out, and this is not what you want when you are driving somewhere.

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James Dempsey is originally from mother Russia. He works as a freelance journalist for various publishing companies and devours anything tech and car related. He has been a long standing contributor to Team Carwitter and helps keep the site viable.