Even if you’re a good driver, you might be costing yourself extra money every time you get behind the wheel in Washington State. How? By doing things that can increase wear and tear on your car — even things that seem perfectly normal.
You may not even realize you’re doing them (most habits are unconscious behaviors), but these driving behaviors may be at least partially to blame for your frequent repair shop visits. So, help keep your car in better shape by asking yourself a few questions about your driving:
1. Is my gas light always on? Regularly driving on a nearly empty tank can increase wear on your car’s fuel pump. It’s best to keep your fuel level at a quarter-tank or above.
2. Do I shift too quickly? Shifting your car into drive while you’re still rolling backward is one sure way to increase stress on your car’s transmission. Always stop before shifting.
3. Am I always on the brakes? Maybe you aren’t leaving enough following distance between you and other cars. And, when you’re going down a steep grade, consider shifting into a lower gear. That can help you slow down more naturally, without putting unnecessary wear on your brakes.
4. Is my car usually packed with stuff? Additional weight means additional stress on many different parts of your car, including your transmission, your brakes and your suspension. So, unless you really need it, don’t pack it.
5. Do I have a lead foot? Putting your foot to the floor might be exhilarating for you, but it’s not so great for your car — especially if it’s still cold and oil hasn’t reached all the different parts of the engine yet. It can wear out your tires more quickly, as well.
If these behaviors fit your driving patterns to a T, it’s time to form new habits behind the wheel. Ones that won’t take a toll on both your car and your bank account over time. And, that’s something both you and your vehicle can be happy about!