Even the most reliable vehicle will eventually need repair. Normal wear and tear is something you can’t prevent. However, some car problems are often caused by bad driving behaviors. Here are five habits that can cause your vehicle to end up at the mechanic shop.
Driving On “E”
Some people have become accustomed to driving on a near-empty tank. Unfortunately, this bad habit can damage your vehicle in a number of ways. If you continue running on a low level of fuel, you’ll soon be scheduling a visit to the mechanic shop.
When there’s little gas in the tank, your vehicle’s fuel pump is far more likely to overheat. You’ll eventually begin to hear a loud whining sound, which means this component has already started to wear out. A failed fuel pump will ultimately force you to call for a tow. To prevent being stranded on the side of the road, never allow the fuel level to drop below a quarter tank.
Using Regular Gas In a Vehicle That Requires Premium
Some of today’s vehicles are built to run on premium gasoline. If you use a lower octane fuel in a model that requires premium gas, the consequences can be severe. For starters, the engine won’t be able to develop maximum power. You’ll likely notice a big difference in performance, especially when accelerating.
Some vehicles have a “premium gasoline only” warning. You should never use regular unleaded gas in these vehicles. Doing so could cause the engine to detonate. This sudden, intense rise in cylinder pressure can result in major damage. The mechanic shop may need to completely rebuild or replace the engine. In the long run, spending the extra money on premium gasoline can prevent a lot of unnecessary stress.
Ignoring A Check Engine Light
If your check engine light turns on, don’t wait to take the vehicle to a mechanic shop. While the root of the problem may be something simple, the best approach is to not take any chances. Getting your car checked out now could save you from an even bigger auto repair bill.
There are more than 100 problems that will trigger a check engine light. Symptoms, like rough idling and sluggish acceleration, often stem from bad spark plugs. You’ll need to get a tune-up as soon as possible. Worn spark plugs can cause the vehicle’s catalytic converter to fail, which could be expensive to replace.
Allowing Your Vehicle To Idle for Long Periods
Contrary to popular belief, you’re not doing your vehicle any favors by allowing it to warm up for a long time. Aside from wasting fuel, this bad habit actually puts unnecessary stress on the engine. Even on cold days, it’s recommended to not let the engine idle for more than a couple of minutes. Gently driving the vehicle for the first few miles will able the engine to reach its normal operating temperature quicker.
Engines that idle for long periods in traffic often suffer from heavy carbon buildup. These sticky deposits can cause the engine to wear out a lot sooner than expected. This is a key reason why city vehicles often don’t last as long. If you do a lot of stop-an-go driving, your mechanic shop may need to periodically clean the engine to remove carbon.
Towing More Weight Than Your Vehicle Can Handle
A lot of drivers in Asheville tend to use their vehicles for towing. However, it’s important to research the model’s maximum tow rating beforehand. Attempting to pull too heavy of a load can strain the engine. Transmission overheating is also far more likely to occur.
Remember, a vehicle’s suspension is only designed to handle a certain amount of weight. When your load is too hefty, handling will be especially poor. Parts, like shock absorbers and wheel bearings, will also need to be replaced more often.