In addition to regular and preventative maintenance items, the way you drive can affect the life of your car. If you practice the following tips in your everyday driving, you will be making a substantial contribution to the long life of your car.
1. Never ride with your foot on the brake. Avoid the tendency to be a "two-footed" driver. Always use the same foot on the accelerator as on the brake.
2.Do not crank your starter motor for more than 15 seconds at a time. Continual cranking will cause it to overheat.
3.Check your owner's manual for any special recommendations for severe driving conditions. You may be surprised that "severe" driving is stop-and-go, around-town driving.
4.If you regularly carry heavy loads (in your trunk or trailer), you may need heavy-duty shock absorbers to keep your car at the proper level.
5.Start your engine before turning on your lights or other electrical items.
6.Do not use the temporary spare tire longer than is absolutely necessary. These smaller tires put an extra strain on your suspension system and can throw your car out of alignment.
7.Avoid letting the engine idle with the transmission in gear for long periods of time. Put the car in neutral and use the emergency brake, or shift into park.
8.Don't shift your automatic transmission into gear while the engine is running at high speed. If you feel a hard clunk when you shift, you're either giving too much gas or your engine is idling too high. A quick tap on the gas pedal can slow down your idle.
9.With a manual transmission, always push the clutch pedal fully to the floor when shifting. Also try to keep your hand off the shift lever while riving. If you stop at a light for more than 30 seconds, put the transmission in neutral, and take your foot off the clutch to avoid overheating. Avoid "riding the clutch." Using the clutch to hold you on a hill or keeping the pedal slightly depressed will dramatically increase the wear on your clutch and shorten its life. Even if you have an automatic transmission, you shouldn't hold the car on a hill by slightly accelerating.
10.Don't adjust your driving habits to compensate for changes in the way your car handles. For example, don't start pumping the brakes harder because they are getting softer or over-correct steering because the car pulls in one direction. Have the problem checked out; your car is telling you something.