We all have bad habits, and some of them are worse than others. Sometimes our bad habits can really hurt us, literally and financially. We see this sometimes at Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission. That’s why we thought we’d spotlight some bad car habits that a lot of people do that might result in extra visits to the auto care center. What sort of bad habits are we talking about? Well, see if you ever do any of these.
- You ignore a potentially troubling sound coming from your car. Maybe it’s the brakes making a screeching sound. Perhaps it’s a banging noise while driving down the road. Neither of those sounds are good, but maybe you would downplay their significance if your car is still running without a problem. If you’re hearing screeching when you’re braking, you need to have the brakes inspected. You probably need brake pads, and if you’re not careful, and the screeching continues, you may need to replace the brake rotors as well, which just adds to your expense. The screeching sound might be a belt and you may not even need a new belt, it may just need tightening or loosening. And that banging sound could be one of many things all of which should be checked out, immediately. When your car is making a troubling sound, but the car is still running and driving, don’t look the other way and leave it to chance. Come on in to Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission and get your car checked out while it’s still driving without any major problems.
- Driving on empty. A lot of us do this, and if your life is as crazy as mine, it’s easy to drive until the gas light comes on. You’re busy and going to the gas station is yet another errand you don’t have time for. Maybe you have to wait and get gas after the next paycheck arrives. Driving with your car on empty has the potential to hurt your fuel pump. Having fuel in the tank helps cool the electric fuel-pump motor. When you get low on fuel, the fuel pump can suck in air along with gas making the fuel pump intermittently run dry. Pumps need lubrication to work properly, so air is a bad thing. Understand that if your tank is almost empty, there’s a lot of air in there. The low fuel level and the over working of the fuel pump causes the pump to heat up, and your fuel pump will age faster than normal. That could, one day, lead to you having to replace your fuel pump.
- Having a dirty car. Trust me, we see a lot of cars in a wide range of cleanliness, so no judgments here. It’s human nature to sometimes let your car go, especially if you’re often transporting kids and pets. As you get comfortable with a dirty vehicle, you will start to view your car differently. It becomes increasingly less important to wash, clean out and vacuum your vehicle. Then you get a dent in the car that you probably could have straightened out but didn’t. Maybe you were proud of your car once, but now your friends write “clean me” in the dirt on the windows because it looks like you haven’t washed it since the last presidential election. When you treat your vehicle this way, you might start seeing it as no big deal if you go a little longer between oil changes or other regular services because your car is no longer your pride and joy. Keeping your car clean can help you remember that you really do like and value your car and would hate to see it break down prematurely someday.
- Not routinely using the parking brake. “But I don’t park on a hill,” you say. “My driveway or garage is completely level.” True, but when you don’t use the parking brake, the weight of your vehicle is held by a piece of metal in the transmission called the parking pawl. That’s a small metal piece that locks the output shaft of your car’s transmission. The parking pawl is an internal part of the transmission and if the pawl breaks, pieces of it will end up in the transmission and could cause damage to it. But when you use the parking brake, the weight of the vehicle is held by the rear brakes. Brakes are designed to handle a lot of weight throughout the process of stopping the vehicle. If you never put on your parking brake, don’t worry you’ll probably be fine, but if you start using it regularly when you park, you’ll increase the odds of never having to replace the parking pawl on your transmission, you’ll also reduce the odds of having to possibly replace your entire transmission.
Your vehicle is one of your biggest investments. Breaking these bad car care habits will help you keep your vehicle in reliable working order and extend the life of your vehicle. If you have any questions about your vehicle, please come by and talk with us at Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission.