When it comes to car health, circumstance can have a significant bearing. Perhaps through manufacturer negligence or complications with the previous owner, your vehicle has you in the shop more than you would like. That being said, another large determinant of your car’s overall health and longevity is you, the driver. Poor driving habits over an extended period of time can prove costly for any car owner and decrease the life and resale value of your precious asset. Here are some valuable insights from your auto car experts and Layton mechanics at Master Muffler to help you avoid costly repairs in the future. 

1. Use the Parking Brake

This may come as a surprise to some, but the parking brake (or emergency brake) is to be used every time you station the vehicle. Every time your vehicle is in park, it puts stress on the transmission which can compound over time decreasing performance and ultimately leading to issues. 

2. Avoid Bumps and Potholes

As tempted as you may be to cruise over that speed bump at 20mph, it is not good for your car. Most standard suspension systems are not made to absorb considerable shock over a long period of time. Take some extra time to slow down for large dips and bumps while avoiding potholes the best you can.

3. Adopt Good Winter Driving Practices

Winter weather can be hard on your engine. If your car is parked outside in cold weather, let it warm up for a minute or two before taking off. Starting your cold vehicle and giving the engine gas right away can cause it to run before it is properly lubricated by the motor oil. 

4. No Need to Punch the Gas

Driving with a lead foot can cause engine and transmission strain. Avoid abrupt acceleration when operating in a high gear or at low RPMs. Take an extra second or two to ease into the gas pedal for smooth acceleration. Your engine will thank you.

5. Be Aware of Warning Signs

Whenever you hear unusual sounds, smell strange odors or feel vibrations while driving, it is likely that something is amiss. Don’t ignore these signs because what otherwise could be a rather insignificant issue could turn into something costly if not promptly addressed. 

6. Get Routine Oil Changes

Don’t neglect your oil changes. It is highly recommended you get your oil changed every 3,000 miles to help extend the life of your engine. Changing the oil is one of the most important things you can do to maintain a healthy vehicle. 

7. Easy on the Brakes

Slamming on the brakes or riding them when driving downhill are two major best practice infractions. These actions greatly reduce the life of your brakes and in extreme cases, can lead to failure. Keep your foot off the brake when coasting and be cognizant of how much room you need to stop safely. 

8. Shift Wisely

We are all guilty of getting a little ahead of ourselves when shifting from drive to park or from reverse back into drive and our vehicles do not thank us for it. Wait a quick beat before shifting into one of these gears as it will make a big difference to your transmission over time.

9. The Exterior Matters Too

Last but not least is the exterior of your car. Wash your vehicle regularly, especially after driving on salted roads. This will keep your car shining and looking great as you tack on the miles.

Visit Your Layton Auto Repair Experts

Whether your car is in need of a diagnostic, repair or general maintenance, you can trust us with your vehicle. Our Layton mechanics are tried and tested, bringing quality car care to Utah residents day in and day out. For more information about our services give us a call today or come on in to the shop. We are always happy to help.