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Sunday / 14 July 2024
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6 mistakes we all make that shorten our car’s lifespan

Things such as overloading a vehicle, hard acceleration, skipping services, and riding the clutch are just a few factors that contribute to mild wear and tear today, and hefty repair bills tomorrow.

MotorHappy, a supplier of motor management solutions, details six mistakes the majority of motorists make that have the unintended consequence of shortening their car’s lifespan.

Not letting your car warm up

Regardless of whether your car was built in the ’90s or just yesterday, it’s worth letting it warm up for around a minute before driving it, even 30 seconds will do the trick on modern rides, instead of simply flipping it into gear and taking off immediately after starting the engine.

Older vehicles use carburettors, which means that the oil will need time to lubricate the components, with these autos requiring a warm-up time of at least five minutes before you commence with your commute.

While modern cars are fitted with fuel injectors and do not have to heat up for as long to get the fluids running, it’s still good to do so especially in cold temperatures and after extended periods of immobility to allow oil to sufficiently lubricate the system before you drive.

Going full throttle too soon

It’s unwise to accelerate hard early into your journey when the engine is still relatively cold, even if you did spend a minute to let it get warm.

A cold motor affects how much power and speed you get from your fuel, and the older the car, the longer the warm-up.

“The goal is to avoid sudden and high acceleration, especially if and when you’re travelling long distances,” said MotorHappy.

“Think of it like you’re stretching before a big race, most of us wouldn’t start sprinting without completing a warm-up. The same could be said for your vehicle.”

Driving on reserve

While you may think you’re saving money by driving your car on reserve, it’s wishful thinking.

Driving with little to no fuel is one of the worst things you can do; it adds unnecessary strain on the fuel pump and there’s the risk of sediment build-up in the tank which is subsequently pulled into the motor.

This can lead to hose blockages, engine issues, and more.

“Always fill up before the light appears on your dash. Period,” said the experts.

Riding the clutch

Riding a clutch refers to when you leave a bit of pressure on the pedal while moving forward or backward, meaning the clutch is only partially activated.

Most manual drivers tend to do this when they’re edging along in traffic or at a red light out of habit. Sometimes it can’t be avoided, such as when you’re reversing out of a parking spot.

However, if done too often, riding the clutch can cause premature wear on the clutch disc, pressure plate, and release bearing.

Depending on the extent of the damages, repairs may not be covered under a warranty or service plan, so you’ll have to flip the bill yourself.

When stationary, even in traffic, neutral is your friend. A clutch should be treated like a light switch, it should either be on or off, nothing in between.

Skipping routine services

Routine check-ups are essential to maintain a car’s health.

These services ensure that all the parts in your ride are still functioning as they should and that it has all the fluids it needs to keep running smoothly.

“If you skip or miss your routine services, repairs will cost you more money down the line,” said MotorHappy.

“Double-check when your service is due, either on the mileage covered or the term, whichever comes first.”

Taking on speed bumps at full speed

Going over a speed bump too quickly will hurt your car considerably, especially if this is a regular driving habit.

“To be more specific, your shocks, bumpers, and steering pay the price. Also, this is more than just your wear-and-tear issue; it can lead to replacements if left unheeded,” said MotorHappy.

To avoid unnecessary damage, be aware of how you’re driving and how fast you’re going, especially in suburban areas.

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