A vehicle is no small investment, and every motorist wants to know that they’ll get the most out of their purchase and not need to shop for a new one for a while. To achieve this goal, you probably already know that regular maintenance and checkups are important to maintain your engine’s longevity. You might not realize, however, that some of your driving habits may be inadvertently shortening your engine’s lifespan. Even if no problems show up in the moment, certain habits can put unnecessary wear on the engine that adds up over time. Avoid this undo strain by adopting some of these more engine-friendly driving habits below.
Don’t Start and Stop Abruptly
While stopping abruptly is sometimes unavoidable on the road, habitually braking and accelerating harder than necessary will that put undo stress on the engine and wheels. Cars, trucks and SUVs alike desire smooth transitions so that their engines don’t have to work overtime to compensate. It may not seem like a big deal in the moment, but those abrupt transitions definitely start to add up over time much like smoking cigarettes start to affect the lungs. Your car needs to be treated with respect, so braking and accelerating slowly is paramount to optimal engine health. It will preserve the engine for the long term and benefit your wallet when you don’t need a premature repair.
Never Put the Pedal to the Metal
There are some people who like to show off the performance of their engine and rev it up beyond measure by accelerating and even doing illegal tricks. Not only does this type of driving compromise the safety of others, but it also compromises the integrity of your engine. Avoid showing your engine’s horsepower off to your friends and treat it with respect like a horse rider would their stallion. Your steed will thank you when you aren’t constantly whipping it to accelerate excessively or doing donuts in a parking lot. Every action has its set of consequences, and this type of reckless driving will run the engine into the ground around 50 percent quicker. Avoid sharp turns and opt for smoother ones that encourage engine health and keep things flowing better overall. Treat your car the way you want to be treated, and it will pay dividends in the long run.
Avoid Overloading to Decrease Wear and Tear
When you add excessive loads to any vehicle over long periods of time, it will drastically affect engine performance and accelerate its degradation. If you have excessive items that could be stored elsewhere, then consider lightening the load to reduce the stress. The more weight you load into your vehicle, the harder it has to work. There’s nothing wrong with transporting people and items from time to time, but carrying heavy loads over long distances on a routine basis should be avoided at all costs if you wish to get the most out of your engine. It’s no cheap matter to need engine repairs
or a replacement, and if there is excess weight pushing down the car, then it will retire much quicker. Topping up the fuel can help with this if you have to transport heavy loads from time to time, because the car can focus more on accommodating the weight instead of struggling to guzzle fuel effectively.
Drive Regularly for Increased Circulation
Some may believe that driving a vehicle less will minimize wear and tear on its parts, naturally increasing the life of its engine. Although this may seem like a logical conclusion, you might be surprised to learn that engine inactivity may result in loss of functionality. It’s similar to how exercise in humans is a good thing and keeps the blood flowing. Most engines tend to function better and are less stressed when they are running on a consistent basis. This is because the oil is circulated better and the car develops a routine that keeps things lubricated and the engine running well. Take consideration to at least run the engine every now and then if you’re in a position to stay at home for longer periods of time and have a low-mileage vehicle
. Even drive it on the highway now and again to ensure you wake the engine up and keep things healthy.
Don’t Park Outside
We often underestimate how damaging extreme weather can be to any vehicle. They seem like they could weather any conditions, and it’s true that many types of vehicles are very resilient. However, excessive heat or cold conditions will inevitably have consequences even if they are subtle. The engine can freeze and have a hard time starting, and the heat can also potentially melt certain sensitive components. It’s much more advantageous for your engine to keep it in a temperature-controlled garage because it can still tread at unacceptable temperatures. If you have no other options or lack a garage, then there are special temperature control tarps that can help protect the engine integrity in aggressive weather. Temperature is important to regulate, but there are also external forces like hail and other vehicles that could potentially hit your car and damage it internally.
Stay Away from Potholes and Rough Roads
As most are aware, some streets are far more dangerous than others. Large potholes can easily damage not only the engine but also other internal and external parts of your car. Rough roads can also force the engine to work overtime to continue moving forward, causing it to use fuel less efficiently. If you know of certain routes that have a rough road or potholes, then it would be wise to avoid them. There might be times when you’re forced to traverse these streets, so you should pay attention to the potholes to avoid them as much as possible. The worst thing you can do is speed fast on these roads, because that can potentially destroy the engine very quickly. Take careful precautions to drive slowly, and this will reduce unnecessary stress on the engine.
Keep Up with Routine Maintenance
If you notice stuttering in your engine, then it’s definitely time to take it in for servicing and inspection. However, it would be better to take it in for routine inspection on a continual basis, as this can save you money. It’s not a good idea to wait until your engine fails because that is a stressful situation that no one wants to be in. Most modern cars have signals
that will show you when the engine needs servicing, and you would be wise to heed these warnings when they appear instead of continuing to drive it. These are the rudimentary essentials of taking care of your engine, and regular upkeep is critical to keeping things running smoothly for the long term. Make sure you take it to a qualified professional to gain insight on the necessary procedures. For example, they may recommend an engine flush, which can yield noticeable differences.
Habits can be difficult to change, but it’ll be worth it when your vehicle still runs like new even after years of regular use. Adopting these habits could mean the difference between having your engine give out at 100,000 miles vs 200,000 miles. Treat your engine right, and it will stay reliable for years to come.