It’s only when our cars are in various stages of protest that we realise something is wrong with them. This might be a mystery squeak or rattle, the assertive glare of a warning light, or a full-on engine implosion.
We may curse our wheels when they let us down by the side of the road, but there are a series of driving habits we subject our cars to that only make life difficult for ourselves, even if they seem like the easiest (or laziest) option at the time:
Not checking your tyres
Your tyres need a tread depth of at least 1.6mm to be road legal, as well as the correct tyre pressure to ensure effective grip and braking. Underinflated tyres can accelerate the rate at which the tread wears out and have an impact on safety. Overinflated tyres can lead to a blowout.
Letting fluid run low
Empty windscreen wash can lead to scratches on your windscreen as wipers scrape across dirt on dry glass, while an oil shortage can cause engine components to seize up.
Frequently letting your fuel drop down to the minimum can also create issues, as contaminants sitting at the bottom of your fuel tank will be drawn through – leading to potential blockages.
The pothole affliction on UK roads means safety avoiding them is not easy, but your car’s suspension springs will thank you if you do. Look ahead to see if there’s a way to go round them without obstructing other motorists.
Similarly, try not to mount kerbs too often, and slow right down on approaching a speed bump. That is the point of them after all.
Not only will keeping your foot on the clutch when you don’t need to – a practice known as “coasting” – cause wear in the engine’s rotor or break pedals; it’s also dangerous as it gives you less control over the car’s steer and breaking capabilities.
Taking care of your vehicle by eliminating these bad habits from your driving practices are a good way to help maintain your car. For times when careful driving isn’t enough to avoid problems, there’s always breakdown cover.