There are so many actions car owners do simply out of habit when driving their vehicles. Actions such as putting on our seat belts after we sit down, checking the rear view mirror before backing up, or plugging in our music before taking off for the day. Similarly, there are several other things we do that are not as harmless as the rituals mentioned above. Many drivers are totally unaware that certain habits can actually damage their vehicles. Driving habits that you once thought were harmless are actually highly detrimental.
Continue reading to learn a few common habits that can cause serious, costly damage to your car, and see if you are guilty of a few of them yourself!
The Parking Brake
The parking brake is one of the most neglected parts of an automatic transmission vehicle. Those who own manual cars or trucks often use their parking brake, but for several other drivers out there, this operation is often ignored, whether automatic or manual. This is a mistake that can jeopardize the integrity of your parking pawl and the transmission itself.
It can also result in your vehicle rolling downhill uncontrollably, after being parked on an incline. The parking brake puts a lock on the wheels and prevents it from rolling away. Failing to use a parking brake puts a lot of pressure on the car’s transmission; a part of the vehicle not meant to “hold” a car in place. It also strips the parking paw, as mentioned before. Always use the parking brake, but remember to release it before putting your car into drive again!
Another common driving mistake is switching gears while the car is in motion. This often occurs when a driver backs up in reverse, and then switches their car into the drive-gear before it comes to a complete stop. This can strip the gears and bands within a vehicle’s transmission, which can be a costly repair. After a while, your vehicle may lose its ability to switch gears altogether because there is nothing there to provide the necessary tension it takes to thrust a vehicle into drive. Always come to a complete stop before switching gears. See our blog, “Frequently Asked Questions About Car Transmissions” to review related car care tips.
Many people start their cars the wrong way by leaving their AC on when they shut off the ignition from the last time they drove. But leaving the AC on when you turn your car off, or already having it on when you start your car, is bad for the serpentine belt and causes the engine to work harder than it has to. This can lead to costly repairs down the line. Talk to a mechanic to learn when you need auto air conditioner service.
Failing to replace or change-out automotive fluids is another major mistake made by drivers and car owners alike. This can cause several issues and performance failures with a vehicle. Fluids like brake fluid, motor oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, battery fluid, coolant, and windshield wiper fluid are the most important lubricants and liquids for all vehicles. Have them flushed, filled, and replaced as suggested by the manufacturer. See our blog about important fluids every vehicle should maintain to learn more.
Odd Noises and Sounds
We are probably all guilty of ignoring funny noises and strange sounds coming from our vehicles, at some point in our driving careers. But this is bad to do, and can lead to very costly repairs and put a driver and their passengers in danger. It is not safe to drive a car that is not in good condition. Bad brakes, an overheating engine, and much more can cause serous car accidents and collisions. If your car’s brakes are squeaky, or your engine seems to hiss louder than usual, or you hear some other type of unfamiliar noise coming from your vehicle, take it in to a licensed Indianapolis auto mechanic right away.
⚠ Never ignore any problems your car, no matter how minor. Bring it into a licensed mechanic as soon as you suspect that something is off with your vehicle’s performance or quality.
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Call Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for professional Indianapolis auto repair and service you can trust. We have been helping Hoosiers repair and maintenance their vehicles for over 20 years, while offering affordable prices and reliable work. You can schedule a free inspection and estimate, anytime! We can even assist with tows! Don’t forget to mention one of our auto repair coupons or discounts to get the best deal in town.